Oil prices slip on profit-taking

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World oil prices fell toward 88 dollars on Wednesday as many traders took profits after the market had struck two-year highs earlier in the week, analysts said.

In late morning London deals, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January shed 37 cents to 91.02 dollars per barrel, after hitting a 26-month high at 92.86 on Tuesday.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January, retreated 49 cents to 88.20 dollars a barrel on Wednesday, one day after hitting 90.76, a level last seen on October 8, 2008.

"The weakness we've had yesterday and today is just a bit of profit-taking," said Ben Westmore, minerals and energy economist for the National Australia Bank in Melbourne.

Prior to Wednesday, the oil market was boosted by a cold snap in Europe and rising sentiment over the global economic outlook.

However, eurozone debt crisis worries were also weighing on crude markets, traders said.

European finance ministers refused Monday to approve boosting bailout funding after fierce resistance from some of the eurozone's best-performing economies.

© 2010 AFP

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