Oil prices ease marginally in Asia after touching US$100 per barrel

Light, sweet crude for February delivery dipped to US$99.24 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, midmorning in Singapore. Oil prices dipped from US$100 a barrel in anticipation of a drop in inventories in the weekly U.S. petroleum supply snapshot. Price volatility can be attribute to growing violence in Africa's leading oil producing nation, a weaker U.S. dollar and a stance that global demand for oil will outstrip supplies. Investors are anticipating that U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.7 million barrels last week, which would be the seventh straight weekly drop. Crude oil is expected to spike past US$100 a barrel level if the government reports a more than expected drop in crude inventories. Growing economies in China and India feeding on oil and gasoline have sent prices sky high over the past year, while tensions in oil producing nations like Nigeria and Iran have increasingly made investors nervous and invited speculators to drive prices even higher.
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