Oil prices slid on Monday after investors locked in gains from Friday''s robust economic growth data and sold the commodity for profits, especially after a widely-watched U.S. consumer sentiment report missed expectations.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at USD99.11 a barrel during U.S. trading, down 0.21%.
The commodity hit a session low of USD98.70 and a high of USD99.32. The February contract settled up 0.28% at USD99.32 a barrel on Friday.
Oil futures were likely to find support at USD96.53 a barrel, the from low Dec. 16, and resistance at USD99.48 a barrel, Thursday''s high.
The Commerce Department reported on Friday that the U.S. gross domestic product expanded by 4.1% in the third quarter, well above consensus forecasts for 3.6% growth, which sent oil prices rising on hopes for faster economic recovery.
The Federal Reserve''s Wednesday decision to trim its USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program by USD10 billion beginning in January also bolstered prices as well by further stoking expectations for more pronounced economic growth down the road.
By Monday, however, profit taking sent the commodity edging into negative territory, especially after a widely-watched consumer sentiment gauge missed expectations.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan''s overall consumer sentiment index held at 82.5 in December, unchanged from an initial estimate, though analysts were hoping for the index to climb to 83.0.
The Michigan consumer sentiment index stood at 75.1 in November, though losses were somewhat limited as markets viewed an unchanged December figure as better than a surprise decline.
Elsewhere, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that U.S. personal spending rose 0.5% last month, in line with consensus forecasts. Personal spending for October was revised up to a 0.4% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.3%.
The report also showed personal income rose 0.2% in November, missing expectations for a 0.5% increase, after falling by 0.1% in October.
Meanwhile on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for February delivery were down 0.05% at USD111.72 a barrel, up USD12.61 from its U.S. counterpart.
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