Brent crude oil was steady above $108 as encouraging data from the world’s top two consumers helped raise the global demand outlook.
The commodity traded at $108.65 at 5:08 GMT with geopolitical tension in Libya and Ukraine keeping a floor under prices.
Reuters reported that Chinese trade data showed that the nation’s exports picked up the pace in May as global demand improved. The figures showed that the nation’s exports rose 7 percent annually in May, a marked improvement from April’s 0.9 percent rise.
However, gains were capped by the nation’s import data, which showed a 9.4 percent decline.
The Chinese data came shortly after a positive US non-farm payrolls report released on Friday. The report confirmed that the US economy’s recovery was back on solid ground as May was the fourth consecutive month with more than 200,000 new jobs created.
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Meanwhile the ongoing tension in both Ukraine and Libya kept Brent prices elevated, though many see progress on the horizon in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko were able to meet on Friday in France at a D-Day commemoration ceremony. Following the meeting Putin said the two had agreed to take steps to resolve the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Putin also said that Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz and Russian natural gas company Gazprom are nearing a deal that will keep Russia from cutting off its natural gas supplies to Ukraine.
After hiking its prices by over 80 percent in April, Gazprom has agreed to lower the amount it charges if Kiev pays its outstanding debts.
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