24/05/13 - 20h44Oil prices mixed in pre-holiday trade
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24/05/13 - 08h01Germany must spread cost of energy shift fairly: IEA
Oil prices mixed in pre-holiday trade
Global oil prices were narrowly mixed in cautious trade Friday ahead of a three-day holiday weekend on both sides of the Atlantic.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for July, closed off opening losses of more than a dollar, ending the day down 10 cents at $94.15 a barrel.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July settled at $102.64 a barrel, a gain of 20 cents from Thursday.
Investors were preparing for public holidays Monday in the United States and Britain that will close the New York and London markets.
WTI prices over the week had swung from above $97 on Monday to a low just above $92 on Thursday.
"We're just consolidating the gains from yesterday," said Bob Yawger of Mizuho Securities.
People were getting out of their positions and "abandoning ship before the weekend," he added.
Crude futures had closed little changed on Thursday, recovering from sharper losses earlier in the day following weak Chinese manufacturing data.
Traders shrugged off US government manufacturing data showing a much stronger-than-expected rebound in new durable goods orders in April, up 3.3 percent after a sharp 5.9 percent drop in March.
"It's not as important when you take into account Wednesday's event," said Yawger, referring to Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke's testimony to Congress and the release of the minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting.
Analysts were divided over whether Bernanke's comments and the FOMC minutes indicated the Fed was getting closer to reining in its massive bond-purchase program.
"The market is still trying to figure out what happened Wednesday," Yawger said.
Dealers also set aside an unexpected rise in business confidence on eurozone powerhouse economy Germany. The Ifo economic institute's business climate index jumped to 105.7 points in May from 104.4 points in April.