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MTECHTIPS:-Oil steady as upbeat economic data, ECB stimulus support

MTECHTIPS:-Oil steady as upbeat economic data, ECB stimulus support

Oil prices held steady on Friday, finding support from brighter economic data and a global stock market rally after the European Central Bank signaled more stimulus. The positive tone offset persistent concerns over a glut in global crude oil and refined product supplies that have battered the energy market for over a year. Benchmark Brent crude oil was 8 cents higher at $48.16 a barrel by 0700 ET after settling up 23 cents in the previous session. U.S. crude for December was down 10 cents at $45.28 a barrel, having risen 18 cents on Thursday. ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that new euro zone initiatives could be unveiled as soon as December to stoke the economy. The euro saw its largest one-day percentage drop against the dollar in nine months on Thursday, a move that might have been expected to depress oil, which is traded internationally in the U.S. currency. [FRX/] But Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN AMRO Bank, said hopes that European economic stimulus measures would boost oil demand were supporting fuel globally. “Draghi’s comments are supportive,” van Cleef said. “Nevertheless, with the dollar finding support, the upside for oil prices will be limited.”

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