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Oil's bulls running into inflation worries

A bull run that looked set to push oil above $100/b has met resistance

Despite investment-bank forecasts for triple-digit crude, inflation in China and tepid US economic data, especially on the jobs front, have given bears some encouragement. But an outlook for rising Asian demand keeps the market in contango. Front-month Brent, trading in London on 24 January at $97.60/b, retains a sharp premium to WTI, which has slid beneath $90/b. The differential reflects the market's unease about the US' economic recovery as well as supply outages in the North Sea. Increased supplies to the US of Canadian heavy crude has also softened WTI and pushed stocks higher. For the week ending 14 January, US crude inventories rose by 2.6m barrels, to 335.7m barrels. A correction to

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