Crude oil futures were higher during the Asian session on Thursday to start the New Year with exports from Libya a continued focus along with strife in South Sudan.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil futures for February delivery rose by 0.31% while trading at USD 98.73 a barrel.
It earlier traded at a session high USD 98.77 a barrel. Crude oil was likely to find support at USD 99.06 and resistance at USD100.75.
Expectations for Libyan oil exports to resume to near normal levels sent prices falling Tuesday due to the added supply they''d bring to the global market.
Libyan oil operations faced glitches recently due to protesters disrupting production at various oilfields.
Expectations for increased exports from South Sudan also nudged prices lower.
Trading volumes were thin as many investors already closed books before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing volatility, which helped exaggerate market moves.
Elsewhere, solid consumer confidence data did little to boost the commodity, which was still on track to finish 2013 up around 6%.
The Conference Board reported earlier that its index of U.S. consumer confidence improved to 78.1 in December from 72.0 in November, beating consensus forecasts for a 76.0 reading.
Also Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose at an annualized rate of 13.6% in October from a year earlier, the strongest pace since February of 2006 and above forecasts for an increase of 13.0%.
Separately, industry data revealed that the Chicago purchasing managers’ index fell to a seasonally adjusted 59.1 this month from 63.0 in November. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 61.0 in December.
Elsewhere on the ICE, Brent oil for February delivery rose 0.03% to trade at USD111.27 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent oil and Crude oil contracts standing at USD11.93 a barrel
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