Oil higher in Asia ahead of US jobs re­port, hur­ri­cane threat

The China Post - - MARKETS -

Oil prices climbed in Asia Fri­day ahead of the re­lease of a U.S. jobs re­port and as a hur­ri­cane threat­ened re­finer­ies on the U.S. east coast.

Em­ploy­ment data for Septem­ber, to be re­leased later Fri­day, is im­por­tant be­cause an im­prove­ment in the la­bor mar­ket is a key fac­tor sup­port­ing the Fed­eral Re­serve’s plan to hike its nearzero in­ter­est rates, an­a­lysts said.

A rate in­crease is sup­port­ive of the U.S. dol­lar which would make dol­lar-priced oil more ex­pen­sive to weaker cur­ren­cies, hurt­ing de­mand and de­press­ing prices.

In af­ter­noon Asian trade, U.S. bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate (WTI) for Novem­ber de­liv­ery ad­vanced 57 cents to US$45.31 and Brent crude for Novem­ber added 37 cents to US$48.06 a bar­rel.

Both

con­tracts ended lower af­ter a choppy trad­ing ses­sion on Thurs­day.

An­a­lysts ex­pect the jobs re­port will show the U.S. econ­omy added 205,000 jobs in Septem­ber and the un­em­ploy­ment rate was un­changed at 5.1 per­cent, a sev­enyear low.

Traders are also watch­ing if Hur­ri­cane Joaquin would change di­rec­tion and threaten oil re­finer­ies and stor­age fa­cil­i­ties in the U.S. east coast.

“We ex­pect to see traders take po­si­tions in the event the hur­ri­cane changes path over the week­end. This would likely put some up­side for oil prices,” said Daniel Ang, an in­vest­ment an­a­lyst with Phillip Fu­tures in Sin­ga­pore.

The slow­down in China’s com­modi­ties- hun­gry econ­omy also re­mains a con­cern for the oil mar­ket but an­a­lysts said a sharp de­cel­er­a­tion, or hard land­ing, is un­likely.

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