Crude oil prices rise before US jobs data

7th September 2012, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices rose Friday, continuing to gain from the European Central Bank's plan to support weak eurozone economies, as traders looked ahead to key US jobs data.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October climbed 50 cents to $113.99 a barrel approaching midday in London and ahead of US monthly jobs figures to be published Friday.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for October gained 46 cents to $95.99 a barrel.

Oil prices were already rising Thursday after ECB chief Mario Draghi said the central bank could buy unlimited amounts of debt from troubled nations like Spain and Italy to help bring down their borrowing costs and to prevent the eurozone debt crisis from spreading.

The news gave markets a huge shot in the arm, sending share prices soaring in Asia, Europe and on Wall Street.

Crude futures have also won modest support from a drop in US crude oil inventories, analysts said.

The US Department of Energy's petroleum report showed crude oil supplies fell last week as Hurricane Isaac churned through the Gulf of Mexico, home to oil installations.

Despite the drop in inventories, the market remains concerned by weak global energy demand, especially following a slew of manufacturing data this week showing downbeat activity in China, Europe and the United States.

"While ECB moves to solve the eurozone crisis are welcome... energy markets continue to be weighed down by weak economic data," said Justin Harper, market strategist for trading group IG Markets Singapore.

"Manufacturing data has been weak and that shows the economy is still very sluggish and will keep a cap on oil prices," Harper told AFP on Friday.

Traders were meanwhile looking ahead to the release of US non-farm payrolls data for more clues about the state of the world's biggest economy and leading oil consumer.

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© 2012 AFP

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