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Oil steadies on gasoline demand

LONDON, November 12, 2015

Oil prices steadied on Thursday at around $46 per barrel, as demand for gasoline and technical buying after a sharp fall the previous day offset worries about a large global supply glut.

Brent crude futures were $45.83 by 1039 GMT, up 2 cents following a 3.4 per cent fall on Wednesday.

Gasoline margins in Europe have tripled since mid-October as low prices boosted consumption.

Demand is also strong in the United States, where gasoline importers on the East Coast are losing a trans-Atlantic tug-of-war over European supplies, outbid by Nigerian buyers anxious to avoid a holiday shortage.

"There is strength across the gasoline complex, which is supportive, and there is technical support as we reached the bottom of a two-month range yesterday," said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland.

US crude futures were $42.95 a barrel, up 2 cents from Wednesday when prices tumbled 3 per cent on high production, rising U.S. stocks and an economic slowdown in Asia.

Brent is still down more than 3 per cent this week after a 4.3 per cent fall last week on worries about a global glut and little sign of significant cuts in production.

Sentiment has also been hit by a growing sense that Asia's two biggest economies were slowing sharply after China's factory output growth eased further.

The slowdown in China has pulled down the entire commodity sector, with products such as crude, copper, liquefied natural gas, coal and iron ore down between 20 and 30 per cent this year.

Adding to demand worries are fears that Japan's economy may have fallen into recession and that emerging markets across the world are struggling with a debt mountain that threatens growth. – Reuters

Tags: Oil | gasoline | Commodity | Brent Crude |

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