New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for February delivery, was down 26 cents at USD 98.78 in mid-morning trade while Brent North Sea crude for February eased 30 cents to USD 109.99.

"We are seeing small pullbacks in both the WTI and Brent contracts as they hit resistance levels following overnights gains," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said.

"The volumes that are being traded right now are about one quarter of what we usually see on a normal day, so investors aren't likely to be too worried about this short-term dip in thin trading," he said.

WTI for January rose 97 cents in New York trade on Thursday, while Brent climbed 66 cents in London, as investors read the Fed's decision to cut its monthly asset purchases by USD 10 billion to USD 75 billion from January as a sign of its confidence in the economy.

The move was accompanied by a pledge to continue with its ultra-low interest rates even after achieving its goal of bringing unemployment to below 6.5 percent.

"The commitment from the Fed to keep its key interest rates low had lifted confidence, garnering support for crude oil prices," Singapore-based Phillip Futures said in a note.

Investors had been concerned that a wind-down of stimulus would hit oil demand outside United States. The scaling back of the programme sends the greenback higher, and in turn makes dollar-priced oil more expensive to people using other currencies.


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