Wednesday, March 06 14:57:16
Brent crude oil steadied above $111 per barrel today supported by buoyant stock markets which gained on positive economic news from the United States.
The market consolidated Tuesday's gains as investors awaited U.S. data on factory orders to confirm expectations of a revival in demand growth as well as inventory figures from the United States.
Signs of a strengthening U.S. economy and continued support from the Federal Reserve pushed European stock indices to their highest level since the 2008 financial crisis on Wednesday.
At 1530 GMT the Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its weekly oil and petroleum products inventories.
"The market is waiting on inventory numbers as well as potentially decent U.S. economic data in very thin trading," said Andrey Kryuchenkov, analyst at VTB Capital in London.
Private employers added more jobs than expected in February, according to a report from a payrolls processor, boosting hopes that the beleaguered labour market was healing.
"Oil is in a 'wait and see' mode for the economic data to confirm the really good numbers we had," said Harry Tchilinguirian, oil strategist at BNP Paribas in London.
Brent crude futures slipped 24 cents to $111.37 a barrel by 1415 GMT, off an earlier high of $112.23. U.S. light crude oil lost 14 cents to $90.69.
"We had the ISM figures that helped to propel the equity markets higher and oil is now waiting whether we have confirmation of that positive data through the factory data," Tchilinguirian said. Reuters