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Oil down on profit-taking

07 May 2013, 07:35

Singapore - Oil prices eased in Asia on Tuesday with dealers taking profits after a rally on robust US jobs data and rising tensions in the Middle East, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June dropped 57 cents to $95.59 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for June delivery shed 39 cents to $105.07.

"People are squaring up on what has been a fairly good rally," David Lennox, resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, told AFP.

"Strong payroll numbers from the United States took the market a little by surprise. The US has been weak for so long, so dealers are waiting for that consistent growth."

The US Labor Department on Friday reported that the US economy added 165,000 jobs in April, and revised sharply upwards its numbers for the previous two months, helping to send the unemployment rate down to 7.5 percent.

The data offered a significantly brighter picture compared to March of the jobs situation in the world's biggest economy and largest oil consuming nation.

Traders were also watching the situation in the oil-producing Middle East after Syria warned it would respond to Israeli air strikes Sunday against military targets near Damascus.

A senior Israeli source said the raids targeted Iranian weapons destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.


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