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The signs of optimism over US jobs data have pushed Brent crude to beyond $107 a barrel today and towards a second weekly gain.

Brent crude rose eight cents to stay at $107.27, after posting its biggest daily gain in two weeks during the previous session, while US crude fell 19 cents to settle at $97.65 amidst concerns over lower demand during peak maintenance season, reported Reuters.

The gaining spree of Brent was partially attributed to the drop in the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits.

"The gaining spree of Brent was partially attributed to the drop in the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits."

Analysts foresee no major swing in prices until the release of the US non-farm payrolls data, which is due for release later today.

According to a poll by Reuters, the US is predicted to post growth in jobs to 185,000 in January, which is more than double December’s 74,000.

While the economic outlook for the world’s top oil consumer remains a key indicator for oil demand, its positive signs are likely to push the Federal Reserve to pull back the monetary stimulus programme.

Brent is expected to receive additional support in the form of tighter supply of North Sea crude in March due to poor loading, and peak refinery maintenance season.

According to loading programmes, loading of the four crude streams Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk (BFOE) will average 890,000bpd in March, compared to an expected 1.03 million barrels per day in February.

Several refineries in the US and Asia are set to shut down their units in the second quarter for maintenance reasons, which could limit the demand for crude.

Investors are closely watching the developments over Iran, as a new round of talks is scheduled on Saturday, where the UN nuclear watchdog is likely to investigate long-held suspicions that Iran has worked on designing an atomic bomb.


Image: Brent is heading towards a second weekly gain owing to optimism over US Jobs data. Photo: courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net.

Energy