Oil prices were mixed in Asia today with downward pressure coming from a slip in US industrial output, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, eased 14 cents to $95.72 a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April added 26 cents to $117.92.

Trading was restrained “after an unexpected dip in US industrial production spurred concerns about lagging economic activity”, Phillip Futures said in a report.

Official data on Friday showed industrial production in the United States — the world’s largest economy and oil consumer — contracting 0.1 per cent in January, with manufacturing output falling 0.4 per cent.

“Economists had been expecting a modest increase in industrial output in January,” Phillip Futures said.

(This article was published on February 18, 2013)
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