Oil prices mixed, stay close to 72 dollars

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Oil prices were mjixed on Tuesday while managing to stay close to 72 dollars -- a price deemed "acceptable" by crude exporter Kuwait.

New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, rose 25 cents to 71.69 dollars a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for July was down 19 cents at 71.93 dollars.

The current oil price is "acceptable" and there is no need for OPEC to hold an extraordinary conference to discuss cutting output in a bid to boost prices, Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah said on Tuesday.

"The price (of oil) is acceptable," said Sheikh Ahmad when asked about current prices, adding he expected levels to continue to fluctuate but to remain within the current range until the end of the year.

The Kuwaiti minister said he favours an oil price at between "75 and 85" dollars but stressed there was no need for an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at this stage.

Oil prices ended mixed on Monday in volatile trade on growing concerns over the European debt crisis as well as a weaker-than-expected report on job creation in the United States that underscored a reluctance by US employers to hire new workers.

"The recovery of global fuel demand becomes more and more questionable in the wake of rising concern over the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and disappointment over the (US) ... jobs report on Friday," said Mike Fitzpatrick, vice-president of MF Global.

The report showed that US private-sector jobs rose in May by just 41,000 or less than a fifth of the amount predicted by analysts.


© 2010 AFP

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