Oil flat after Europe industrial production falls

  • Article by: PAMELA SAMPSON
  • Associated Press
  • January 15, 2013 - 3:57 AM

BANGKOK - Oil prices were nearly unchanged Tuesday after industrial production shrank in the 17 countries that use the euro, raising concerns of a prolonged recession in the region.

Benchmark crude for February delivery was up 3 cents to $94.17 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 58 cents to finish at $94.15 per barrel in New York on Tuesday.

Industrial output across the eurozone fell in November for the third straight month, the European Union statistics office said Monday. The worse-than-expected 0.3 percent monthly decline was felt across the whole economy and sparked worries that it was a sign the current recession might linger.

"The weaker than expected European industrial production ... has seen Brent and US crude prices remain under pressure," Michael Hewson, senior market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a market commentary.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 27 cents to $111.22 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

_ Wholesale gasoline was up 0.1 cent at $2.773 a gallon.

_ Natural gas fell 2.6 cents to $3.347 per 1,000 cubic feet.

_ Heating oil rose 0.8 cent to $3.071.

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