Singapore - Oil hovered above $93 a
barrel on Thursday in Asia as lower inflation in China reinforced
expectations for more stimulus measures to boost waning economic
Benchmark crude was up 14 cents to
$93.49 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic
trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 32
cents on Wednesday to settle at $93.35 in New York.
In London, Brent crude was down 29
cents at $111.85 on the ICE Futures exchange.
Crude has surged from below $78 in late
June amid hopes that policymakers in the U.S., Europe and China will
soon implement monetary and fiscal stimulus measures to help reverse
slowing economic growth.
Lower than expected non-OPEC crude
production and recent pipeline and refinery accidents have also
helped push prices higher.
China on Thursday said its inflation
rate fell further in July, giving the government more room to
stimulate growth amid mixed signals about whether the world's
second-largest economy is recovering from a painful slowdown.
Analysts are also closely watching
political upheaval in Syria. While Syria is not a major crude
producer, its chaotic civil war could undermine stability in its
neighbours, which include oil heavyweights Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq
"Oil markets remain choppy, but
the strong six-week uptrend remains in place," Barclays energy
analyst Paul Horsnell said. "Syria represents a severely
complicating factor for Middle East geopolitical issues, with a high
potential for spillovers and intensification of other issues."
The U.S. is scheduled to report weekly
initial jobless claims, its June trade balance and wholesale
inventories data for June later on Thursday.
In other Nymex energy trading,
wholesale gasoline futures were down 0.7 cent at $2.97 a gallon and
heating oil was steady at $3.02. Natural gas was down 3 cents at
$2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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