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Brent crude remains above $97 on firm US economic data and steady China PMI

Brent crude futures remained above $97 a barrel today amid firm US economic data and steady China PMI.


However, due to ample supllies, oil remains on course for its deepest quarterly drop in more than two years.


Reuters reported that Brent for November delivery increased 8 cents to $97.28 per barrel and US crude was up 2 cents at $94.59 a barrel.


Brent has declined approximately 6% in September and US crude approximately 1.5%. Ample supplies have led to the decline in oil prices in September and the third-quarter of this year.


A private survey has shown that activity in China's factory sector has steadied in September amid increases in exports.


Meanwhile, Iran has urged Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members to make concerted efforts to offset the decline in oil prices.


The news agency said Saudi Arabia is, however, not in favour of this move.


A spokesman for Libya's state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Sunday that a strike has reduced the country's oil production by 25,000 barrels a day to 900,000 barrels per day (bpd); however, this production is still up from a low of 200,000 bpd, registered earlier this year.


Japanese trade ministry data revealed that the country's domestic oil product sales declined for the fifth straight month in August, compared with a year earlier, they are down approximately 10% to 2.91 million bpd.


The American Petroleum Institute is due to unveil its weekly oil data later today.

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