London: Brent crude rose on Friday, boosted by gains in equity markets and delays on key North Sea crude oil loadings.
Brent crude for November gained 78 cents to $113.07 a barrel by 2:12pm.
US crude dipped by 18 cents to $89.22. The November Brent contract and prompt US crude have risen about 2% so far this week.
European shares were rising in early trading led by banks, extending its rally. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up for the fourth day
MSCI’s benchmark global equities index hit a week high.
Gold was heading for its biggest weekly drop since March 2009.
“Brent futures strengthened as central banks teamed up to jointly provide European banks with additional funding,” Vienna-based JBC Energy said in its daily research note.
“The joint action comes as a (temporary) relief for the banking system at a time when international investors are increasingly reluctant to lend money. The move also sparked a rally on European stock markets.”
NORTH SEA DELAYS
North Sea Forties crude, one of the key crude oil streams used to price about two thirds of global physical oil, has been suffering from production problems and loading delays since May, supporting Brent crude futures.
Shipments of Forties crude oil are being further delayed due to production shortfalls, trade sources said on Thursday.
But economies in most developed countries remained weak, weighing on oil demand.
New claims for US jobless aid rose unexpectedly last week and factory activity along much of the Eastern seaboard contracted early this month.
The economic weakness is now being reflected in US oil demand readings. The nation’s total fuel consumption over the past four weeks fell 0.9% from a year earlier, while gasoline use over the summer declined to an eight-year low, according to the Energy Information Administration.