As tensions eased between Venezuela and Colombia, oil prices dipped under US$105 a barrel. Over the weekend, Venezuela is reported to be restoring full diplomatic ties with Colombia after they were broken off following a cross-border Colombian attack on a leftist rebel camp in Ecuador.Last week, rebels attacked and shut down a Colombian pipeline that transports 60,000 barrels of oil a day in retaliation for the Colombian raid into Ecuador. Venezuela threatened to slash trade and nationalize Colombian-owned businesses, and Venezuela and Ecuador briefly sent troops to their borders with Colombia.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery dipped to US$104.80 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midday in Singapore. A fresh trading record of US$106.54 a barrel was set on Friday, driven by a U.S. Labor Department report that said employers cut 63,000 jobs in February - the biggest drop in five years. Prices later retreated to US$105 a barrel.