Brent crude rises above $109
Singapore, October 18, 2013
Brent futures rose on Friday, holding above $109 a barrel as data showing China's economy grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace this year helped offset concerns about demand for oil after a rise in crude stockpiles in the US.
The Chinese data underpinned the better tone in financial markets, a day after the US sealed an 11th-hour deal to end a government shutdown.
Asian shares hit a five-month high, although gains in oil may be limited by the worries about demand plus the prospect of further US fiscal talks in just a few months' time.
Brent crude had gained 23 cents to $109.34 a barrel by 0541 GMT. However, the contract is poised to lose 1.7 percent on the week, snapping two weeks of gains.
US oil gained 30 cents to $100.97 but is set to decline for a second week.
"The Chinese government will meet their target growth rate of 7.5 percent and that will support oil, going forward," said Tetsu Emori, a commodity fund manager at Astmax Investments in Tokyo.
"Overall sentiment is weak because of the US debt issue. Without a permanent solution, it becomes difficult to decide whether to take on more risk or not."
Both the contracts settled more than a dollar lower overnight as data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed crude inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the US oil futures contract rose last week for the first time since early July.
Emori expects oil to stay in a tight range until clearer evidence is available on the demand outlook in the US. US oil may slip to $96-$97, and while the probability is low, it may dip to $92 if that level is broken, Emori said.
The low for Brent is seen at about $100 a barrel, he added. - Reuters