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  1. Oil prices up on upbeat economic data, European Central Bank stimulus moves

Oil prices up on upbeat economic data, European Central Bank stimulus moves

Oil prices rose on Friday, finding support from brighter economic data and a global stock market rally after the European Central Bank signalled more stimulus measures.

By: | Singapore | Updated: October 23, 2015 2:50 PM
oil prices

Japanese manufacturing activity expanded in October at what could be its fastest pace in 19 months, according to Markit/Nikkei Japan Flash Manufacturing PMI data on Friday. (AP Photo)

Oil prices rose on Friday, finding support from brighter economic data and a global stock market rally after the European Central Bank signalled more stimulus measures.

Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 25 cents at $48.33 a barrel by 0810 GMT after settling up 23 cents in the previous session. U.S. crude for December was 10 cents higher at $45.48 a barrel, having risen 18 cents on Thursday.

The gains followed a statement by ECB president Mario Draghi on Thursday that new euro zone initiatives could be unveiled as soon as December.

Draghi said the ECB was “open to the full menu of monetary policy” to stoke the economy.

The euro saw its largest one-day percentage drop against the dollar in nine months on Thursday, a move that might have been expected to depress oil, which is traded internationally in the U.S. currency.

But traders said hopes that European economic stimulus measures would boost oil demand had supported fuel globally.

“The market is taking the view that governments will not allow economies to falter,” said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance.

“These expectations suggest more active economic development will force consumption to go up,” Barratt added.

Data from the United States on Thursday showed a strong rebound in home resales in September and new applications for unemployment benefit hovering around 42-year lows.

Asian stock markets joined a global shares surge that buoyed overall sentiment

Japanese manufacturing activity expanded in October at what could be its fastest pace in 19 months, according to Markit/Nikkei Japan Flash Manufacturing PMI data on Friday.

Business survey data for the United States later on Friday could weigh on oil markets, said Daniel An, analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore: “I expect to see some bargain hunting but I’m sceptical the rise (in oil prices can) continue.”

China’s commercial crude oil stocks at the end of September rose 2.38 percent from August, while diesel stocks saw a record 15.68 percent drawdown and refined fuel stocks overall dropped 7.46 percent, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday without giving actual volumes.

Rising U.S. oil inventories, which climbed by a larger than expected 8 million barrels to 476.6 million last week, were a potential headwind to oil prices, helping to fuel concern over global oversupply.

Investors also awaited rig data on Friday for guidance on how U.S. oil production has responded to recent price falls.

 

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