Oil dips, but close to 9 month high, on concerns over euro zone economy offset

Brent crude dipped to US$118.6, and U.S. crude slipped to US$95.6. At the start of the week, oil dipped to below US$119 a barrel, but stayed close to a 9 month high, on growing investor concern about the euro zone economy. These concerns offset stronger-than-expected demand growth in China that had pushed Chinese crude imports to the third-highest rate on record. Negative developments in the euro zone that weigh on equities and the euro include a corruption scandal in Spain and Italy's election race is becoming tighter. Trade is expected to be light this week as several Asian markets are shut for Chinese New Year. Oil could get some support from stormy weather in the heavily populated U.S. Northeast, where a blizzard dumped up to 40 inches (1 metre) of snow with hurricane force winds.
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