Crude mixed in Asia
SINGAPORE – Crude prices were mixed in Asia Friday after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced it would cut its main interest rate but indicated there would be no big boost in rescue funding, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, gained five cents to $98.39 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for January delivery shed 10 cents to $108.01.
Crude markets had surged late Thursday after the ECB cut its main interest rate but reversed gears when ECB president Mario Draghi said the bank would not significantly boost its debt market intervention, DBS Group Research said in a report.
“Markets were disappointed that Draghi maintained a hardline stance against expanding its balance sheet be it via direct intervention in the bond markets or other indirect means or partial measures,” it stated.
Draghi said in comments made before a two-day European Union summit starting late Thursday that hoped-for ECB action to buy up the sovereign bonds of debt-wracked countries was “limited” and “temporary”.
His comments were a blow to crude markets which had earlier in the day rallied on an ECB confirmation that it was cutting its main interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 1.00 percent to spur economic activity, the second monthly cut in a row.
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