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Crude oil gains in early Asian trade

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On the New York Mercantile Exchange light, sweet crude futures for October delivery traded at USD85.45 a barrel during early Asian trade, rising 0.33%, after hitting a daily low of USD85.04.

Early Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil stockpiles had declined by 2.2 million barrels for the week ending August 19, far below the forecast of a 0.8 million barrel decline.

The EIA added that gasoline supplies increased 1.4 million barrels during the same period.

Hopes were lifted earlier in the week for a resumption of Libyan oil production after rebel forces stormed the capitol Tripoli, paving the way for the ouster of long-time leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

European refiners, in particular, have been hard-hit by the absence of Libyan oil since the onset of hostilities in February and have sought replacement supplies from other West and North African producers.

In Nigeria, Royal Dutch Shell PLC. declared "force majeure," a legal term meaning the company would be unable to make scheduled deliveries, after an apparent sabotage attempt on one of the company's pipelines.

The announcement was expected to reduce the company's Nigerian exports by some 200,000 barrels per day.

A rising U.S. dollar helped to temper oil future gains, as dollar-denominated futures contracts tend to fall when the dollar rises.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rose 0.04% to 74.12.

On the ICE Futures Exchange Brent oil futures for October delivery rose 0.06% to trade at USD100.36.

The U.S. government was scheduled to release weekly unemployment figures later Thursday, an indication of future demand from the world's largest energy consumer.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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