World oil prices paused within sight of the $120 level on Thursday after a mixed report on United States energy stockpiles, dealers said. In Asian afternoon trading, New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, slipped 25 cents to $118,05 per barrel.
World oil prices touched new record highs above $112 a barrel in Asian trade on Tuesday as supply concerns and a sluggish greenback remained key factors behind the hike, dealers said. They said market sentiment remained bullish after the latest United States government data showed a surprise sharp fall in the country's energy stockpiles.
Oil prices jumped to fresh historic highs on Monday, breaching $93 for the first time on mounting concerns about tight energy supplies worldwide, analysts said. Investors pushed up crude futures to new peaks as more bad news in the shape of Mexican production cutbacks came on top of already serious tensions in the Middle East.