Oil prices rise on Egypt tensions, before US jobs data

5th July 2013, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices rose on Friday amid mounting tensions in Egypt, while investors awaited US jobs data for clues to when the Federal Reserve will end its massive stimulus programme, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August climbed 88 cents to stand at $106.42 a barrel in London midday deals.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for August, won 46 cents to $101.70 a barrel.

The risk of prolonged unrest in Egypt after its army overthrew and detained President Mohamed Morsi continues to support prices, analysts said.

The country's chief justice Adly Mansour was sworn in as interim president Thursday as the army rounded up the leadership of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

"Investors continue to watch the situation in Egypt closely, but there doesn't seem any conviction for them to drive the kind of gains in previous days at the moment," said Kelly Teoh, market strategist at traders IG Markets told AFP.

While not a major crude exporter, Egypt is home to key oil choke points such as the Suez Canal and the Sumed Pipeline.

Markets were meanwhile cautious ahead of crucial non-farm payrolls data in the United States, which is the world's biggest economy and consumer of oil.

A strong result would indicate a pick-up in the US economy, it could also signal that the Federal Reserve will begin scaling down its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying scheme sooner rather than later.

© 2013 AFP

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