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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 USD85.21 a barrel during early Asian trade, rising 0.32%, after hitting a daily low of USD84.88.

Hurricane Irene, the first major storm of the season to threaten the U.S. mainland, was expected to make landfall on the eastern seaboard over the weekend.

The storm is on a path similar to Hurricane Gloria in 1985, which killed 11 people and caused USD900 million in damage. But unlike a storm in the Gulf of Mexico, home to 29% of U.S. oil production, an Atlantic seaboard hurricane does not threaten major U.S. crude and natural gas production.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week rebel forces in Libya took control of the capitol Tripoli, paving the way for the ouster of long-time leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi and the resumption of a flow of Libyan oil into global markets.

Gadhafi remained on the run but the Libyan rebel government hopes to restart oil exports within two weeks and reach full volumes in about a year, Ali Tarhouni, the official in charge of financial and oil matters told Reuters news.

Earlier Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the number of Americans filing for unemployment assistance rose by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 417,000, in the week ending August 19, dimming prospects for any short-term rise in U.S. energy demand.

Market expectations were for jobless claims to fall to 405,000 from 412,000 the previous week.

A falling U.S. dollar helped to support oil futures, as dollar-denominated futures contracts tend to rise when the dollar falls.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.04% to 74.29.

On the ICE Futures Exchange Brent oil futures for October delivery lost 0.07% to trade at USD110.39.

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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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