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Today's oil prices jump over Japan's stimulus plan; investors eye China data

8 April 2013

BOJ

Oil prices increased today after Japan announced plans to boost its economy, which is anticipated to increase liquidity in the markets. However, weak US jobs data capped a further rise.

Brent crude jumped by 58 cents to $104.70 per barrel, while US crude increased by 33 cents to $93.03 per barrel, reported Reuters.

Oil demand is expected to get a boost from the Bank of Japan's generous monetary stimulus, which has pledged to infuse nearly $1.4 trillion into the world's third largest economy in less than two years.

Investors will keep a close watch on China's economic growth data for the quarter ended 31 March 2013, which is likely to indicate a moderate recovery, with growth expected at eight percent, up from 7.9% in the last quarter of 2012.

Industrial production growth in the country is also predicted to be stable, while inflation may have slowed down in March.

"Oil demand is expected to get a boost from the Bank of Japan's generous monetary stimulus."

On Friday, data showed that about 88,000 jobs in March were added in the US, against expectations of 200,000, sparking concerns about the health of the world's largest economy.

Brent is also expected to get some support from supply and geopolitical concerns after Iran's discussions with western powers over the weekend ended without a resolution.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that world powers will carry out further negotiations with Iran. However, he emphasised that the process could not go on forever.

On the other hand, supply worries in Norway were eased, following a last minute wage deal between offshore unions and firms, which averted a strike that could have disrupted the country's oil and gas industry as well as supplies.


Image: Bank of Japan Head Office, Chuo-city, Tokyo, Japan. Photo courtesy of katorisi.

Energy