Oil prices stable amid US stimulus talk

15th November 2013, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices steadied on Friday as traders weighed up expectations for future scaling back of stimulus in the United States, the world's biggest consumer of crude.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in December, gained seven cents at $93.83 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for January fell 40 cents to $107.88 per barrel in London midday deals as traders banked profits heading into the weekend.

Traders have welcomed testimony on Thursday from Fed chief nominee Janet Yellen at her confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Banking Committee.

Yellen defended the US central bank's $85 billion-a-month bond-buying programme, and rejected suggestions that it had generated fresh bubbles in property or stock markets.

Her comments "spurred expectations that any form of (stimulus) tapering would not occur anytime soon", said Vanessa Tan, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures.

The upbeat sentiment over a continuation of the easy money policy offset concerns over ballooning US crude stockpiles, indicating soft demand in the world's number one economy.

US inventories rose 2.6 million barrels in the week ended November 8, the US Department of Energy reported on Thursday, representing the eighth consecutive rise.

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© 2013 AFP

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