Oil Falls As Warmer U.S. Weather Curbs Demand


NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Friday, slightly eroding their sixth straight week of gains, as the fierce U.S. winter weather that has supported heating fuel demand gave way to milder temperatures, triggering a selloff in heating oil.

Temperatures in the U.S. Northeast climbed into the 50s degrees Fahrenheit range (above 10 degrees Celsius) after a multi month cold snap reduced stockpiles of heating oil to the lowest level in a decade.

New York ultra low sulfur diesel, or heating oil, futures fell by more than 2 percent, or around 8 cents, to $3.0992 per gallon.

"The markets pushed higher this week on the expectation of increased fuel demands," said Gene McGillian, analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. "But the market was overextended and people rushed to take profits."

Domestic conflicts in Libya and South Sudan, as well as escalating protests in Venezuela supported Brent earlier in the week, but by Friday traders had priced in the supply risk, analysts said.

Brent crude futures for April fell 45 cents to settle at $109.85 a barrel, having hit a seven-week high of $110.82 on Wednesday.

Brent was also weighed on by signs that Iran increased January crude oil exports to China and India.


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