Oil prices steady after weak US data

GMT 12:13 2014 Friday ,27 June

Arab Today, arab today Oil prices steady after weak US data

Oil prices
London - AFP

Global oil prices steadied Friday after lacklustre US economic data that has fuelled bearish sentiment about demand in the world's top crude consumers, analysts said.
In late morning London deals, Brent crude for delivery in August rose 13 cents to trade at $113.34 a barrel compared with Thursday's close.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August dipped a cent to $105.38 a barrel.
The US Commerce Department said Thursday that consumer spending rose a mere 0.2 percent in May after flattening in April, raising questions about recovery in the world's biggest economy.
"This has cast doubt on the growth outlook for the second quarter of this year, particularly after a wider-than-expected contraction in the first quarter," Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said, referring to weak GDP figures released Wednesday.
The report comes after the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported an unexpected build-up in US crude inventories last week.
A rise in US stockpiles is typically indicative of weakening demand in the energy-guzzling nation, which would in turn put pressure on prices.
Markets remained focused on the 1.7 million barrel surge in the week ending June 20 "in the absence of new drivers in the market", Singapore's United Overseas Bank said.
Traders are continuing to keep a close watch on crude producer Iraq, where sectarian violence has continued unabated for nearly three weeks.
Jihadist insurgents have captured swathes of Iraqi territory in a lightning offensive that began on June 9, but they have yet to directly threaten the key oil-producing region in the south.
Oil prices have held under last week's nine-month peaks as the violence has failed to dent Iraqi crude output.
Last week, Brent oil had soared to $115.71 a barrel, while WTI crude hit $107.73 on fears over Iraqi supplies. Both were levels last seen in September 2013.
Brent prices have shed "around $2.50 from the nine-month high of $115.71 that was reached on June 19, as output from Iraq remains unaffected by ongoing violence", added Inenco analyst Nadina Ball.
"It is believed that, if the fighting between Sunni militants and Iraq government forces is restricted to the north of Baghdad, supply disruption fears would ease."

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