New York's main contract for April inched up to US$92.7. US oil prices saw a slight rebound on release of encouraging industrial data, but a rise in US stockpiles and more uncertainty in EU maintained a cap on the gains. However, Brent North Sea crude dropped to US$111.92 a barrel. Markets were lifted by data from USA that indicated strength in the US economy- data on durable goods orders in January rose 1.9% if volatile aircraft orders are stripped out.
Capital goods orders were even stronger, suggesting business confidence in the economy in the coming months.
American crude inventories rose by 1.1 mln barrels last week. But weekly data showed US crude stockpiles continued to grow, exerting downward pressure on prices.