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.
Oil prices jumped to a new trading record above $98 a barrel on Wednesday amid expectations of declining United States supplies. The weak dollar and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries's apparent reluctance to pump more crude into the market also boosted prices.
Oil hit a record high of nearly $79 a barrel on Wednesday, after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries's (Opec) modest output increase failed to allay winter supply concerns and ahead of United States inventory data. US light crude for October delivery set a record high of $78,99 a barrel.