• Oil prices up in Asia as weaker dollar spurs demand

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    SINGAPORE: Oil prices rose on Asian trade on Friday as dealers made the most of a weakening dollar as they keep an eye on the release of crucial US jobs data later in the day, analysts said.

    New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in July, gained 15 cents to $94.91 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for July added 18 cents to $103.79.

    “The decline in the US dollar is giving support to oil prices,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP.

    “Traders are basically positioning themselves for US non-farm payrolls data after last night’s levels.”

    The dollar weakened in Asia as investors grow nervous about the US jobs report, which will provide fresh clues about the state of the world’s biggest economy, and indicate how and when the Fed will begin to reel in its huge monetary easing programme.

    As oil is traded in the US currency, a weaker dollar makes the commodity cheaper, spurring demand and boosting prices.

    Oil prices have been given some support after the Department of Energy on Wednesday said stockpiles in the United States plunged 6.3 million barrels in the week ended May 31, much more than the average 400,000 analysts expected.

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