Brent Below $107 On Uncertainty In The US
Positive economic data from China helped Brent crude steady after US crude stockpile data put pressure on prices on Thursday. Brent crude oil traded at $106.99 on Friday morning at 7:45 GMT on Friday morning.
Reuters reported that PMI data from China showed the region's manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace in seven months.
A rise in new orders helped the PMI rise to 50.9 in October, up from 50.2 in September. The data indicated that the number two oil consumer was stabilizing; however most are expecting to see the nation's central bank maintain a cautious stance on monetary policy in the coming months.
A lack of geopolitical tension has removed a lot of Brent's strength as investors worry less about supply interruptions in the Middle East. The tense relationship between the US and Iran once kept a floor under oil prices, but recent high level talks between the two have provided hope that their icy relationship is finally starting to thaw.
Uncertainty over the US budget has also kept a lid on prices as the nation has yet to determine how to proceed with Congress bitterly divided. Although policy makers in Washington have pledged never to allow a shutdown like the one seen in October to happen again, the two sides are no closer to reaching an agreement than they were at the beginning of the shutdown.
The prospect of another budget showdown coupled with uncertainty about the scope of the damage done by October's Federal government closure has weighed on Brent prices.
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