NEW YORK, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices on Monday dropped for the first time in four trading days following considerable gains last week.
U.S. crude price surged above 100 dollars on Dec. 27 after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude inventories fell for a fourth week.
U.S. crude stockpiles fell 4.73 million barrels to 367.6 million barrels in the week ending Dec. 20. A dip in U.S. supplies signaled strong demand in the world's largest economy and oil consuming country.
Traders believed that the market got ahead of itself, as U.S. inventories are still at a pretty high level.
With a light economic calendar, trading volume remained thin. And the market will be closed on Wednesday for New Year's Day.
On the economic front, U.S. pending home sales index, a forward- looking indicator based on contract signings, edged up 0.2 percent to 101.7 in November from a downwardly revised 101.5 in October, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Another drag on the oil market was that Libyan national oil company said some oil operations in the country had resumed.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery lost 1.03 dollars to settle at 99.29 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange,while Brent crude for February delivery decreased 97 cents to close at 111.21 dollars a barrel.