Oil prices up in Asia after upbeat US jobs data
Singapore: Oil prices rose in Asian trade Monday as moderate growth in new jobs in the United States raised hopes about a pick-up in demand in the world`s biggest crude consumer, analysts said.
New York`s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in July, gained 12 cents to USD 96.15 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July added 10 cents to USD 104.66 in morning trade.
"At this moment, the crude market is driven by the positive sentiment about job creation in the United States, which points towards a growing economy," Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP.
US Labor Department figures released Friday showed 175,000 jobs were generated in May, despite worries that huge government spending cuts would lead to a slowdown in hiring.
The numbers for May were a firm gain from April`s 149,000 rise, though still below the 193,000-a-month January-April average.
The jobs data, which came after several lacklustre US economic reports last week, also boosted hopes the Fed will hold off any moves to rein in its monetary easing programme any time soon.