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Oil extends gains, supported by surprise U.S. jobs report

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By Reuters
Oil extends gains, supported by surprise U.S. jobs report
FILE PHOTO: The Odebrecht Oil and Gas drillship is seen in the Guanabara bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 20, 2017. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly   -   Copyright  BRUNO KELLY(Reuters)
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TOKYO (Reuters) – Crude prices rose on Monday, adding to gains in the previous session on better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, although gains were tempered by worries over the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war.

Brent crude futures <LCOc1> were up 10 cents, or 0.2%, by 0048 GMT at $64.33. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) <CLc1> was up 14 cents, or 0.2%, at $57.65 a barrel.

“A very cautious open this morning supported by a better than expected (non-farm payrolls),” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets in Bangkok. “Traders remain incredibly cautious about the dimmer global economic overhang.”

Both oil benchmarks fell last week as concerns about a slowing global economy outweighed risks to supply. Brent fell more than 3% and WTI shed more than 1.5%.

U.S. job growth rebounded strongly in June, with government payrolls surging, the Labor Department’s closely watched employment report showed on Friday, suggesting May’s sharp slowdown in hiring was probably a one-off.

Employers added 224,000 jobs last month, the most in five months, the report showed.

But the U.S.-China trade war has dampened prospects of global economic growth and oil demand.

The lack of concrete progress in resolving the acrimonious trade war between the United States and China, however, means the bar could be very high for the U.S. Federal Reserve not to lower borrowing costs at its July 30-31 policy meeting.

White House Economic advisor Larry Kudlow has confirmed top representatives from the United States and China will meet in the coming week to continue trade talks.

Still, Japan’s core machinery orders fell for the first time in four months in May, posing the biggest monthly drop in eight months in a worrying sign that global trade tensions are taking a toll on corporate investment.

Oil received some support from simmering tensions over Iran and after an extension last week to output cuts by OPEC and its allies.

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; editing by Richard Pullin)

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