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U.S. oil futures swing between gains and losses in listless trade

Posted: 3/31/2014 4:12:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: - - U.S. oil futures swung between small gains and losses to hold near a three-week high on Monday, as hopes for fresh economic stimulus in China and a continued U.S. economic recovery lent support.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange,West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in May held in a range between $101.35 a barrel and $101.71 a barrel.

Nymex oil last traded at $101.61 a barrel during European morning hours, down 0.06%, or 7 cents.

The May contract rose to $102.24 a barrel on Friday, the highest since March 10, before trimming gains to settle at $101.67 a barrel, up 0.39%, or 39 cents.

Futures were likely to find support at $100.03 a barrel, the low from March 27 and resistance at $102.24 a barrel, the high from March 28.

Oil remained supported amid indications that China's government is prepared to do more to shore up the cooling economy after China's premier Li Keqiang said Friday that the country has policies in place to counter economic volatility.

The remarks helped ease concerns over recent signs of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

China is the world's second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand.

Investors are looking ahead to Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for March, amid expectations for jobs growth of 200,000, after 175,000 jobs were added in February.

A recent batch of upbeat U.S. economic data added to hopes that the slowdown in economic activity seen at the start of the year would be temporary.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oilfutures for May delivery eased down 0.23%, or 25 cents, to trade at $107.82 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at $6.21 a barrel. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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