U.S. crude ends lower awaiting budget talks, posts weekly gain

NEW YORK Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:47pm EST

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NEW YORK Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures dipped in thin, choppy trading on Friday, feeling pressure after data showed that fuel stockpiles rose sharply and crude stocks fell less than expected last week while awaiting fresh U.S. budget talks that might avert looming tax hikes and spending cuts.

U.S February crude slipped 7 cents, or 0.08 percent, to settle at $90.80 a barrel, having traded from $90.32 to $91.49.

For the week, U.S. crude rose $2.14, or 2.4 percent. (Reporting by Robert Gibbons)