Oil extends gains before US jobs data

6th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices extended gains on Friday at the end of a volatile trading week, as markets awaited the release of key US jobs data.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March delivery jumped $1.41 from Thursday's close to $51.89 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for March rallied $1.64 to $58.21 a barrel in London afternoon deals.

WTI on Thursday jumped $2.73 in New York and Brent advanced $2.41, erasing earlier losses.

"It has been a fairly volatile but robust week for the oil market," said Myrto Sokou, senior research analyst at Sucden brokers.

"Crude oil inventories continue to remain fairly high following ongoing large builds of crude stocks in recent weeks."

All eyes were on the United States and its eagerly-awaited jobs report due Friday that is expected to show the world's biggest economy added 235,000 jobs last month, a slowdown from December, according to analysts' forecasts.

Oil prices plunged by about 60 percent from their June peaks to a six-year low last week, largely owing to a surge in global reserves boosted by robust US shale production.

The problem was exacerbated in November after the OPEC cartel insisted that it would maintain output levels despite plunging prices. The 12-nation group pumps about 30 percent of global crude.

© 2015 AFP

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