PRICES: OIL FUTURES STABLE
Crude-oil futures moved in a narrow price range in Asian hours Friday with market participants suggesting that the weak oil prices appear to have largely stabilized.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November traded at $92.53 a barrel at 0513 GMT, unchanged in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange fell $0.03 to $96.97 a barrel.
The U.S. and its allies continue to conduct airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria but their intensity may level off as the U.S.-led military campaign drags on, officials said.
Iran's cooperation with the West against Islamic State could ramp up if talks over its nuclear program are successful, its President Hasan Rouhani said at the United Nations meeting in New York on Thursday.
Meanwhile, an increase in Libyan oil production still weighs on prices.
But this increase is expected to be offset by strong West African crude flows out of the region to Asia, where oil refiners are ramping up crude purchases ahead of the peak winter season, Michael Wittner, head of oil research at Societe Generale said in a report.
He said oil market fundamentals are not bullish, but are also not getting any worse, so prices appear to be stabilizing.
"In addition, there is a fairly strong behavioural pattern of Chinese refiners buying on the dips to take advantage of price weakness, whether to process the crude, or use it to build strategic or commercial stocks," Mr. Wittner said.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for October--the benchmark gasoline contract--fell 122 points to $2.7058 a gallon, while October diesel traded at $2.7002, 44 points higher.
ICE gasoil for October changed hands at $813.50 a metric ton, down $0.25 from Thursday's settlement.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.