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Oil prices drift down as traders close out positions ahead of year's end
NEW YORK (AP) ' Oil prices are slightly lower, as traders close out positions for the year despite an encouraging report about U.S. housing that pointed to stronger oil demand.
Benchmark crude on Monday fell by 36 cents to $93.17 per barrel in morning trading in New York. Brent crude rose 5 cents to $103.40 per barrel in London.
Prices wavered after a private index showed that builders are less worried about the housing market this month. The report was a rare upbeat sign for the beleaguered industry.
Investors continued to sell their remaining investments in crude with only two, holiday-shortened weeks left in the year. Oil prices fell nearly 7 percent last week.