Oil prices down in Asia on profit-taking

Oil prices eased in Asia on Friday as traders cashed in recent gains following signs of strengthening US energy demand and concerns over Syria, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June dropped 62 cents to $93.02 a barrel in the afternoon Brent North Sea crude for June delivery shed 53 cents to $102.88.

"There has been a slight pullback in prices on profit taking," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP.

"We've seen some very strong gains in oil over the past few days, with US stockpiles data and news on Syria."

Oil prices jumped Thursday after the United States said Syrian government forces had likely used chemical weapons, raising worries that Washington would punish Damascus militarily.

Earlier in the week, crude markets had also been supported by lower-than-expected gain in US crude stockpiles, suggesting demand in the world's top crude consumer was on the path to recovery.