Gaza ceasefire limits Asian oil gains

Gaza ceasefire limits Asian oil gains

SINGAPORE - Crude price rises were limited in Asian trade Thursday after a ceasefire ended a week of cross-border violence between Israel and Palestinian militants that left at least 160 people dead.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, added 21 cents to $87.59 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for January delivery advanced two cents to $110.88.

The Gaza ceasefire came into effect at 1900 GMT Wednesday and halted eight days of conflict between Israel and Hamas.

"A truce... eased concerns that a week of intensive Israeli fire on the Gaza Strip and militant rocket attacks out of the enclave could widen, engulfing regional oil exporters," Phillip Futures said in a report.

US jobs numbers helped boost prices, analysts said.

"Markets lifted... on better-than-expected jobs numbers out of the US," IG Markets said in a report.

Despite a disclaimer that numbers were distorted by the effects of Superstorm Sandy, traders still found cheer when official figures showed US jobless claims falling to 410,000 last week.

That marked a nine percent decline from the previous week's upwardly revised number of 451,000. Analysts on average had estimated claims in the world's largest economy and oil consumer would drop to 423,000.


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