Crude oil back above $94 as China’s central bank credit action offsets fears growth slowing

The Associated Press 0

The price of oil crept stayed above $94 per barrel on Tuesday after China’s central bank injected extra credit into the financial system, helping to offset concerns about slower economic growth.

U.S. crude for February delivery was down 30 cents at $94.07 at 0545 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dipping as low as $93.70 on Monday. The February contract expires later Tuesday and most trading has moved to the March contract, which was down 30 cents at $94.29.

Prices tumbled Monday after China’s fourth-quarter economic growth declined from the previous quarter and other data suggested activity might slow further. But confidence rebounded after the Chinese central bank announced late in the day it would inject additional money into the financial system, reducing fears of a credit squeeze.

Prices also have been hurt by the strengthening of the U.S. dollar over the past week. That makes crude less attractive to traders who use other currencies.

Reports that Libyan officials intend to regain from rebels the control over oil export facilities in the country’s east again raised the prospect of more crude feeding already brimming global stockpiles. However, similar pledges in past months have gone unfulfilled.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, was up 15 cents at $106.50 on the ICE exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.9 cent to $2.64 per gallon.

— Natural gas fell 1.4 cents to $4.312 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil added 0.4 cent to $2.95 per gallon.

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