Oil prices steady before festive break

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World oil prices were little changed Friday as support continued to come from strong jobs data in the United States, the world's biggest consumer of crude.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, edged up 10 cents to $99.63 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for February dipped 17 cents to $107.72 nearing midday in London.

"We had very supportive numbers from the US, the jobless claims were relatively positive," said Nick Trevethan, a senior commodities strategist for ANZ Research.

"However, it is the Christmas holiday season and trading volume is getting pretty light," he told AFP.

The US Labor Department said on Thursday that claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since April 2008 last week, the third straight drop.

© 2011 AFP

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