NEW YORK, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices retreated on Friday on profit-taking and softening global oil demand.
Crude prices, especially the Brent, felt downside pressure as investors booked profits. The record spread between the U.S. crude benchmark WTI and the Brent crude also fueled selling in Brent.
"The spread between the two benchmark crudes was due to narrow over the next two months," Harry Tchilinguirian and Gareth Lewis- Davies, oil commodity strategists of BNP Paribas, wrote in a research note. "The conclusion was predicated on the resumption of North Sea production after scheduled maintenance."
Oil declined further after the International Energy Agency, in its monthly report released on Friday, cut the outlooks for global oil demand growth in 2012 and 2013 by 100,000 barrels per day each, citing increasingly gloomy economic conditions.
The Paris-based agency also said that global markets will become better supplied in the next five years as demand growth slows and production rises in North America and the Middle East.
Besides, U.S. crude inventories remained heavy with another 1.7 million barrels added to the stocks last week. U.S. oil production also rose to a 17-year high in the week ended Oct. 5.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund's Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Friday that economic expansion wasn't happening fast enough to help curb unemployment.
However, lingering tensions in the Middle East helped limit oil 's losses.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery dropped 21 cents, or 0. 23 percent, to settle at 91.86 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, it still rose 1.98 dollars, or 2.20 percent.
Brent crude for November delivery fell 1.09 dollars, or 0.94 percent, to close at 114.62 dollars a barrel. But it still posted a weekly gain of 2.6 dollars, or 2.32 percent.