Apr 25, 2014, 8:19 am (BST)
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Crude higher in Asia after central banks' action
SINGAPORE, Dec 1 (BSS/AFP) - Oil prices rose in Asia today after major central banks acted to boost liquidity in global financial markets and China cut the amount of money banks must keep in reserve.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, gained 26 cents to $100.62 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for January delivery was 23 cents higher at $110.75.

"Oil markets are quite buoyant this morning after a confluence of very bullish news," said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore.

"News about a number of central banks making the decision to put more funds into the market to ease strains in the euro debt situation is impacting Asian equities and that's affecting sentiment in oil markets," he told AFP.

"Reports of private sector jobs in the US is also bullish. Yesterday, news that China is going to ease its bank reserve requirements adds to all the bullish news," Shum said.

Central banks of the eurozone, Canada, Britain, Japan, United States and Switzerland said Wednesday they were lowering the cost of providing US dollars to banks to prop up the global financial system.

The dramatic move sparked a global equities rally as traders welcomed the latest effort to turn back the runaway eurozone crisis.

Payrolls firm ADP reported on Wednesday that the US private sector added a net 206,000 jobs in November -- the largest gain in nearly a year -- while the People's Bank of China for the first time in three years cut bank reserve requirements.

But Shum urged caution. "This morning the official Chinese PMI results showed contraction. The US oil inventories also showed an increase in crude stocks," he said.

Official data Thursday showed Chinese manufacturing activity contracting in November for the first time in 33 months.

The US announced Wednesday that crude stockpiles jumped 3.9 million barrels last week, confounding analyst projections of a drop of 500,000.
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