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SINGAPORE, Oct 21, 2010 (AFP)
Oil prices were down in Asian trade Thursday, hovering above 82 dollars as traders took profit from a rally the day before, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, shed 21 cents to 82.33 dollars.

Brent North Sea crude for December delivery dipped 29 cents to 83.31 dollars.

Prices were retreating following a crude rally Wednesday, said Serene Lim, oil and gas analyst from ANZ bank in Singapore.

“I think it could likely be profit-taking today,” she said of the price fall.

Crude markets had jumped on Wednesday on a weaker dollar and lower-than-expected rise in US crude inventories.

Prices were also constrained by the 83-dollar price level, which Lim described as a “very strong resistance level.”

Traders were eyeing the release of Asian economic titan China’s third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) and industrial production figures for market leads, Lim added.

China said Thursday its economy posted robust, albeit slightly slower, growth in the third quarter after a crackdown on soaring property prices and bank lending had less impact than expected.

Consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in nearly two years in September, official data showed — an apparent explanation for Beijing’s decision this week to hike interest rates for the first time since 2007.

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