Oil prices creep higher before key US jobs data

7th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

World oil prices nudged higher on Friday as dealers awaited key jobs data in the United States and digested OPEC's demand forecast downgrade.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December rose 17 cents to $83.

03 a barrel around midday in London.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December advanced 29 cents to $78.

20 a barrel compared with Thursday's closing level.

"Today, all eyes are on the US employment data which will set the tone for (the) trading session," said senior analyst Myrto Sokou at the Sucden brokerage in London.

"We could expect thin trading volumes ahead of the US economic releases as investors would like to remain cautious, waiting for an insight of the US employment data.

"At 1330 GMT, investors will digest US jobs data for October, with the market expecting upbeat news on the world's biggest economy and number one oil consuming nation.

Official data showed Thursday that initial US jobless claims fell 10,000 to 278,000 in the week ending November 1, the lowest level in 14 years.

"The very positive weekly jobless claims data reinforced expectations for a potentially strong US October jobs report today which could bring forward rate hike expectations," said analysts at Singapore's United Overseas Bank.

The oil market had fallen in earlier Asian deals on Friday after the OPEC oil cartel slashed its long-term global demand outlook, while a stronger dollar also weighed in.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in its annual world outlook Thursday that demand for its crude will fall from just above 30 million barrels per day in 2013 to 28.

2 million in 2017, before starting to rise again.

The 12-nation group said the United States and Canada are the primary drivers of non-OPEC output growth, in part due to shale-oil production.

A stronger greenback meanwhile makes dollar-priced commodities like oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, which in turn tends to hit demand and prices.

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© 2014 AFP

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