Investing.com - Crude oil futures were trading near two-week highs during early European trading hours on Friday, as markets awaited the release of U.S. data later in the day, as Thursday''s strong manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia-region continued to support.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in March traded at USD94.35 a barrel during European morning trade, up 0.27%.
The February contract settled down 0.26% on Thursday to end at USD94.10 a barrel.
Oil futures were likely to find support at USD92.63 a barrel, the low from January 15 and resistance at USD95.73 a barrel, the high from January 3.
Oil prices strengthened after the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday said that its manufacturing index improved to 9.4 this month from December’s reading of 6.4. Analysts had expected the index to rise to a reading of 8.6 in January.
The data came after a report showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell to a six-week low.
The Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending January 11 declined by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 328,000. Analysts had expected U.S. jobless claims to hold steady at 328,000 last week.
Separately, TransCanada''s Oklahoma-to-Texas Gulf Coast crude oil pipeline was set to begin commercial service next week at a little over 300,000 barrels per day.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for March delivery dipped 0.04% to trade at USD105.71 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD11.36 a barrel.
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