Thursday 18 January 2018

Crude oil rises for first time in seven days

Oil pump industrial machine for petroleum in the sunset background.
Oil pump industrial machine for petroleum in the sunset background.

Aaron Sheldrick

Crude oil prices rose in early Asian trade on Friday for the first time in seven days as markets took a breather from concerns about the impact of Britain's possible exit from the European Union.

Brent crude futures were up 38 cents, or 0.8pc, at $47.57 a barrel at 0143 GMT after slumping 3.6pc in the previous session. The contract is on track to fall more than 5.5pc for the week.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 27 cents, or 0.6pc, at $46.48. The contract fell 3.8pc in the previous session and prices are down more than 5pc so far this week.

The British pound rose from a two-month low after campaigning for next week's so-called Brexit vote next week was suspended following the murder on Thursday of UK member of parliament Jo Cox, who was a vocal advocate for Britain to stay in the European Union.

Commodities across the board also posted gains, while equity benchmarks including Japan's Nikkei stock average rose.

"We need to brace ourselves for further volatility," said Ben Le Brun, market analyst at OptionsXpress in Sydney.

"We are seeing a bit of a recovery now with maybe some short positions being unwound. It is certainly going to be a wild ride for investors and traders going into the June 23 decision," he said.


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