Oil prices fell in early morning trading in Asia on Thursday following the Federal Reserve announcement to scale back a monthly bond-buying program.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at USD97.87 a barrel, down 0.18%, after hitting a session low overnight of USD97.31 and a high of USD98.26.
On Wednesday crude prices picked up on falling U.S. oil inventories. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 2.9 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 13, beating expectations for a decline of 2.3 million barrels.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 372.3 million barrels as of last week, and the data sent prices gaining by stoking sentiments that demand for fuel and energy in the U.S. may be heavier than once anticipated
Solid data out of the U.S. housing sector boosted oil prices as well.
The Census Bureau reported earlier U.S. housing starts rose to 1.09 million units last month, from 890,000 in October, beating consensus forecasts for an increase to 950,000 units.
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