Crude oil falls for fifth consecutive day

Benchmark crude for February delivery has dropped to US$78 a barrel on the Nymex. Crude-oil prices have weakened for the fifth consecutive day on release of economic data from USA that failed to convince that the speed of economic recovery would be fast enough to augment energy demand. This week’s Government reports showed December retail sales fell and jobless claims rose, along with a report by US Labor Department of a mild inflation rate suggesting the pace of economic recovery has slowed. A rise was seen in energy stockpiles, contrary to expectations due to a colder than normal winter.
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