US oil ends near $100 after downbeat US data


Oil prices dipped Friday as disappointing U.S. manufacturing and retail sales data suggested a sluggish economic start to 2014, outweighing supply disruptions in Libya and Angola.

U.S. crude ended the session down 5 cents at $100.30. The contract ended the week almost flat after a four-week rally, fueled by signs of diminishing stockpiles in the U.S. Midwest, that drove prices above $101 a barrel for the first time since October.

On Friday the focus shifted to the U.S. economy after data showed manufacturing output fell in January by the largest margin in more than 4-1/2 years due to severely cold weather. That data overshadowed better than expected consumer sentiment.

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Coupled with retail sales that unexpectedly dropped in January and a spike in jobless claims reported Thursday, the new data raised doubts over growth in the world's biggest economy and dulled expectations for higher growth in demand.

Brent crude was boosted by forecasts for tightened supply due to interruptions in Libya and Angola. The contract traded up 50 cents above $109 a barrel.

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