SINGAPORE: Oil was mixed in Asian trade Thursday following an unexpected gain in US crude inventories, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, was up 33 cents at $99.69 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for February delivery was down three cents to $107.53.

Crude prices were tempered by a weekly forecast by the American Petroleum Institute (API) Wednesday showing a spike in US stockpiles instead of an expected drawdown, analysts said.

API statistics showed a 9.6 million barrel gain in US stockpiles last week while analysts had predicted a 1.9-2.3 million barrel fall.

The US is the world's largest oil consumer and a gain in its inventories would imply a slowdown in its energy consumption, which would drive prices lower. (AFP)