NEW YORK, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices dropped Friday on concerns that the growth rate of emerging markets may slow down.
The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it will further trim its pace of bond purchases by 10 billion U.S dollars in February, as U.S. economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace, and labor market conditions have shown further improvement.
Market expected that the Fed will reduce asset purchases by 10 billion dollars at each future meeting to end the program this year.
Traders were spooked by a possible slowdown in emerging economies as concerns over Fed's move will make capital flow back to U.S.
On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department Friday reported that U.S. personal consumption expenditures increased by 0.4 percent in December, which exceeded market expectations. Meanwhile, U.S. personal income climbed less than 0.1 percent in December.
The final reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index stood at 81.2 in January, slightly down from 82.5 in the preceding month.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery moved down 74 cents to settle at 97.49 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for March delivery lost 1.55 dollars to close at 106.4 dollars a barrel.