NYMEX crude oil prices gain in early Asian trade

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Investing.com - Crude oil prices gained marginally in Asia on Friday after losing initial bullish momentum overnight on an upbeat U.S. initial jobless claims report.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in January traded at USD95.24 a barrel, up 0.04%. Overnight the commodity hit a session low of USD93.47 and a high of USD95.58. The January contract settled down 0.04% at USD93.85 a barrel on Wednesday.

The Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the U.S. last week fell by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, beating expectations for a decline of 9,000.

The news sparked demand for oil by stoking hopes for a more robust U.S. economy down the road.

Elsewhere, talks among the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, Germany, France and Iran continued on Thursday amid hopes that progress will be made to dismantle Tehran's nuclear program.

A deal would resume the flow of Iranian crude into global markets and lower prices, as trade sanctions slapped on Iran due to its alleged nuclear ambitions have taken out more than 1 million barrels per day of oil from the global market.

On Thursday, France reportedly traded strong words with Iran during the meeting and urged its U.N. counterparts to remain tough, which allowed prices to climb on sentiments many hurdles must be crossed before a deal is reached that would allow Tehran to resume shipping out oil.

Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange rose 1.9% to USD110.08 a barrel overnight.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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