Oil Prices Increased in Asian trade, Firmly Above $79

As rising US energy demand helped sustain markets on the last day of 2009, oil prices increased in Asian trade.

However, New York”s light sweet crude for February delivery, was up 50 cents to $79.78 a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February gained 22 cents to $78.25.

Meanwhile, a second consecutive week of falling energy inventories in the US boosted prices while declining stockpiles indicated rising demand in the US.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) data showed crude inventories declining by 1.5 million barrels in the week ending December 25.

On the other hand, due to increased demand resulting from cold winter weather gripping the US, distillates, which include heating fuel and diesel decreased 2 million barrels.

In Other major Commodities Updates, we have news of High potato, pulses rates push food inflation to 19.83%.

High potato, pulses rates push food inflation to 19.83%

Due to rise prices of potato and pulses, food inflation increased to 19.83% for the week ended December 19.

However, over the last year, potato prices more than doubled while pulses became costly by over 41% and onion rates rose by 40.75%.

Prices of vegetables rose by 46.7% while fruits became dearer by 10.35%.

Meanwhile, with bajra and wheat becoming costlier by 12% and 4% respectively, the rise in prices was significant on a weekly basis also, while rates of rice increased by 2%.

Similarly, barley and urad rose by 1% each while prices of fruit and vegetables declined by 5 per cent on weekly basis.

The food inflation had declined by 1.30% points to 18.65 per cent during the second week of December.

On the other hand, among the non-food articles, raw rubber turned expensive by 3% and rape and mustard seed by 1% while the fuel index remained unchanged.

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