US oil price rises amid mixed data

New York, Feb 19 (IANS) The US oil price edged up on Thursday as the country’s crude data came out mixed.

The US crude supplies of last week added 2.1 million barrels to 504.1 million barrels, 78.5 million barrels more than one year before, according to the weekly report of the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) on Thursday.

Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the US contract, gained 30,000 barrels to 64.73 million barrels, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the meantime, EIA report showed that the US crude production lost 51,000 barrels to 9.135 million barrels a day last week.

The West Texas Intermediate for March delivery moved up 11 cents to settle at $30.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery decreased 22 cents to close at $34.28 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Tokyo shares open lower on firmer yen

Tokyo shares opened lower Friday following weak performance in the overnight US market and the yen’s appreciation.

At 9.15 a.m., the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 225.16 points, or 1.39 percent, from Thursday to 15,971.64, reports Xinhua.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 18.67 points, or 1.42 percent, to 1,292.53.

Chinese shares open lower

Chinese stocks opened lower on Friday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 0.28 percent, at 2,854.9 points.

The smaller Shenzhen index opened 0.24 percent lower at 10,091.67 points, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, lost 0.22 percent to open at 2,186.02 points.

US dollar rises on upbeat data

The US dollar climbed against most major peers on Thursday as the jobs report from the country came out positive.

In the week ending February 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 262,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 269,000, the US Labour Department said on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 273,250, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 281,250.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six other currencies, was up 0.18 percent at 96.960 in late trading, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the previous session, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its January monetary policy meeting. According to the minutes, the central bank policy makers concerned that the falling crude prices and the rout of global financial market could pose risks to the US economy.

In late New York trading, the euro fell to $1.1092 from $1.1142 of the previous session, and the British pound increased to $1.4321 from $1.4280.

The Australian dollar went down to $0.7154 from $0.7172.

The dollar bought 113.57 Japanese yen, lower than 113.83 yen of the previous session.

The dollar moved up to 0.9953 Swiss francs from 0.9916 Swiss francs, and it rose to 1.3740 Canadian dollars from 1.3714 Canadian dollars.

Chinese yuan weakens against dollar

The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, weakened by 34 basis points to 6.5186 against the US dollar on Friday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.

In China’s spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by two percent from the central parity rate each trading day, Xinhua news agency reported.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

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