Oil prices fall from 18 month highs

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, dipped by almost a dollar to $US85.8, while London's Brent North Sea crude settled at $US85.7. Oil prices fell from 18 month high levels on release of data that showed a rise in US crude inventories, suggesting weaker demand in USA. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a rise in American oil inventories by 2 mln barrels in the week ending April 2. The EIA has also reduced its US demand estimate to 160,000 bpd compared with 200,000 barrels in its previous report. It also kept its global demand growth forecast at 1.5 mln bpd for 2010, after two consecutive years of decline. Propped by recent encouraging economic indicators in the United States, oil futures Naphtha prices in Asia were assessed softer as crude oil weakened. H2-May open spec naphtha was valued at US$740/ton CFR Japan, falling by about three dolalars form the previous day.
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