Crude up in Asia on bargain-hunting

Posted By: Pti
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Singapore, Jul 9: Oil prices inched up in Asian trade today as traders bought up cheap crude following a price plunge late last week caused by disappointing US jobs figures, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in August, gained 38 cents to USD 84.83 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for August delivery rose 55 cents to USD 98.74.

"Oil is holding relatively steady, it has edged up a tiny bit," said Victor Shum, senior principal for Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore. "Oil declined substantially last Friday... Perhaps because of the sharp decline, we are seeing some buying this morning," he told AFP.

WTI and Brent crude had on Friday slumped more than USD 2.50 a barrel due to dismal US jobs data, which yet again raised fears that the economy of the world's largest oil consumer was faltering.

The US economy added only 80,000 jobs in June, well below forecasts, leaving the unemployment rate stubbornly stuck at 8.2 per cent, according to Labor Department statistics released Friday. Shum warned that the numbers would continue to affect the crude market in the near term. "I expect that concerns about the US economy downshifting will continue to put downward pressure on oil," he said.


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