Brent crude prices remained steady today, after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced an interest rate cut that encouraged investors’ appetites for riskier assets.

Brent crude was steady at $102.67 a barrel, after slipping by 18 cents, while US crude fell by 16 cents to $93.83 a barrel, reported Reuters.

On Thursday, the ECB lowered its main rate by a quarter percentage point to a record low 0.50%.

The bank announced it would provide banks with as much liquidity as they needed until at least July 2014 and look at methods of encouraging lending to smaller companies, which are considered as the lifeblood of Europe’s economies.

ECB’s decision follows the US Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will continue with its aggressive stimulus programme.

On the other hand, US jobless claims declined to a five-year low, which highlighted that the job market is still recovering in the world’s largest economy and top oil consumer.

A survey conducted by Reuters showed that US nonfarm payrolls increased by 145,000 in April, after a nine-month low of 88,000 in March. Investors are now expected to keep a close watch on the key US nonfarm payrolls data, which is slated to be released later in the day.

The outlook for oil demand is anticipated to remain under pressure, with weak manufacturing activity data reported by the top two consumers, the US and China.

Image: European Central Bank building in Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany. Photo courtesy of ArcCan.