Crude falls as market preps for Libyan exports to resume

A A A - - Crude futures fell on Thursday after Libya declared an end to a standoff with rebels that had closed several oil facilities and ports, with markets now expecting global supply to rise with an end to the confrontation.

In the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in August traded at $103.97 a barrel during U.S. trading, down 0.50%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $103.68 a barrel and a high of $104.31 a barrel.

The August contract settled down 0.82% at $104.48 a barrel on Wednesday.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $101.89 a barrel, the low from June 9, and resistance at $106.09 a barrel, Tuesday's high.

Libya said earlier that it had struck a deal with rebels occupying oil ports under terms that would have insurgents give up control over the last two terminals and end a blockade.

The deal should add 500,000 barrels per day of crude back into the global energy market.

The news sent futures falling on expectations for increased supply, though prices didn't plummet, as the government and rebels have struck deals in the past that never came to fruition.

Bullish data in the U.S. cushioned oil's losses as well.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that non-farm payrolls rose by 288,000 in June, easily surpassing expectations for an increase of 212,000. May's figure was revised up to a gain of 224,000 from 217,000.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.1% from 6.3% in May. Analysts had expected the jobless rate to hold steady at 6.3% last month.

A day earlier payroll processor ADP reported in its nonfarm payrolls report that the U.S private sector added 281,000 jobs last month, beating expectations for an increase of 200,000.

The data supported oil by painting a picture of a more robust U.S. economy, one that will consume more fuel and energy going forward.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for August delivery were down 0.41% and trading at US$110.79 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$6.82 a barrel. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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