Oil held steady above $79 a barrel on Thursday as investors wait for US Government oil data.

Rising Asian shares and gold’s surge to a record high also helped to prevent a fall in prices despite expectations of a rise in crude stockpiles in the the US, reports Reuters.

The US Energy Information Administration data, delayed by a day because of the Veterans Day holiday, is expected to show a 600,000-barrel increase in crude stockpiles in the world’s biggest energy user.

US crude futures rose 8¢ to $79.36 a barrel by 06.46am GMT (1.46am EST), after closing 23¢ higher on Wednesday.

Brent crude futures were up 6¢ at $78.01 a barrel.

The market has gained 77% so far this year but is still about 46% below the record high of more than $147 a barrel it hit in July last year, according to Reuters.