• Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Brent stay below $102

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Brent crude retained its overnight losses and stayed below $102 a barrel heading for its third weekly drop although data showing lower crude stocks in the US kept a floor under prices.

Oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic fell nearly $1 as a surprise cut in interest rates by the European Central Bank led to a spike in the US dollar, making it more expensive for holders of other currencies to buy the dollar-denominated commodity.

Brent was trading 8 cents lower at $101.75 a barrel after settling down 94 cents. US crude was unchanged at $94.45 a barrel. The contract closed $1.09 lower.

Investors are now waiting for US jobs data for signs of demand in the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Oil prices found some support from a drop in US crude oil inventories, with data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing a 905,000-barrel fall. US gasoline stocks dropped 2.3 million barrels.

Oil output in Iraq’s Kirkuk has slumped to 30,000 barrels per day since June, 90 percent down on earlier this year, and a federal pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan may be out of action for over a year due to sabotage.

In February this year Iraqi oil production hit record highs of 2.8 million bpd nationwide, with an estimated 300,000 bpd coming from Kirkuk in the north, where Islamic State fighters have seized swathes of territory and attacked oil installations.