Oil back above US$94 on China credit boost


AP–The price of oil crept stayed above US$94 per barrel on Tuesday after China’s central bank injected extra credit into the financial system, helping to offset concerns about slower economic growth.

U.S. crude for February delivery was down 30 U.S. cents at US$94.07 at 0545 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dipping as low as US$93.70 on Monday. The February contract expires later Tuesday and most trading has moved to the March contract, which was down 30 cents at US$94.29.

Prices tumbled Monday after China’s fourth-quarter economic growth declined from the previous quarter and other data suggested activity might slow further. But confidence rebounded after the Chinese central bank announced late in the day it would inject additional money into the financial system, reducing fears of a credit squeeze.

Prices also have been hurt by the strengthening of the U.S. dollar over the past week. That makes crude less attractive to traders who use other currencies.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, was up 15 cents at US$106.50 on the ICE exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex: — Wholesale gasoline rose 0.9 cent to US$2.64 per gallon. — Natural gas fell 1.4 cents to US$4.312 per 1,000 cubic feet. — Heating oil added 0.4 cent to US$2.95 per gallon.