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Oil markets rallied on Monday on the back of a fall in the number of U.S. rigs and as the U.S. economy continued to post solid job gains, which the industry hopes will drive increased fuel demand.

U.S. WTI crude futures stood at $62.10 per barrel, 6 cents or 0.1 percent higher. Brent crude futures stood at $65.58 per barrel, 9 cents or 0.1 percent higher from their last close.

The U.S. economy reported the biggest job growth in over one-and-a-half years in February, with non-farm payrolls surging by 313, 000 jobs in the previous month, according to the Labor Department.

In oil markets, U.S. energy firms in the previous week reduced the number of oil rigs for the first time in almost two months, with drillers reducing four rigs to 796, according to Baker Hughes energy services firm on Friday.

Despite the lower rig count, which is an early indicator of future production, activity continues to be much higher than the same period a year ago, when just 617 rigs were active and majority of analysts anticipate U.S. crude oil production to increase further.

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Oil prices rallied on Thursday to pare some of the prior session's losses, propped up by declining exports by OPEC-member Venezuela.

Brent crude futures traded up 33 cents or 0.4 percent, to $75.69 per barrel. Meanwhile, U.S. WTI crude rose 33 cents or 0.6 percent at $65.11 per barrel. It finished the prior session 1.2 percent lower at $64.73 per barrel.

Venezuela, a member of the OPEC,is lagging in shipping crude to clients from its main oil export port for almost a month, according to Reuters data, as chronic postponements threaten to breach state-run PDVSA's crude supply contracts if they are not quickly delivered.

Tankers waiting to load over 24 million barrels of crude,almost as much as PDVSA sippined in April, are waiting in the country's main oil port. Reuters data showed that the backlog is so serious, PDVSA advised some customers it may announce force majeure, allowing it to temporarily stop contracts if they do not take on new delivery terms.

Venezuela's supply troubles come amid voluntary production cuts by OPEC which have been implemented since 2017 in order to rebalance the market and drive up prices. The cartel is slated to meet at its headquarters in Vienna, along with top producer but non-OPEC member Russia, on June 22 to talk about production policy.

Iran, a member of OPEC, said on Wednesday that a production boost was not up for consideration as the market was steady and prices were good.

Tags: Oil

The euro remained near two-week highs versus majority of its rivals on Thursday, on increasing bets the European Central Bank may announce it will taper its stimulus program by year-end as early as next week at the end of its policy meeting.

The central bank's chief economist Peter Praet, a close ally of President Mario Draghi, said the ECB would debate next week whether to stop bond purchases later this year.

Jens Weidmann, the head of Germany's central bank, said bets that the ECB would taper its bond-purchasing program by the end of this year was likely while his Dutch counterpart Klaas Knot said there was no reason to extend a quantitative easing program.

The hawkish comments boosted the euro, hitting a two-week high of $1.17955 on Wednesday. The common currency last traded at $1.1781, adding to weekly gains amounting to 1 percent.

The ECB has been weighing whether to finish the 2.55 trillion euro bond purchase program this year as the risk of deflation has passed.

The euro firmed against other currencies, reaching a two-week high of 1.640 Swiss franc and 129.83 yen.

Meanwhile, the dollar continued its recovery from a five-week trough of 108.`115 yen hit on May 29 and last traded at 110.15 yen, having reached a two-week high of 110.27 in late U.S. trade on Wednesday.

But persistent concerns regarding trade disputes could limit the dollar's strength versus the yen as U.S. President Donald Trump looks determined to clash with other Group of Seven leaders at their weekend summit.

The Australian dollar reached a one-and-a-half month high of 76.777 cents on Wednesday and last traded at 76.68 cents, partially propped-up by the nation's solid economic growth data released on Wednesday.

2018.06.07 02:04:00 UTC+00

Gold Edges Up on Weaker U.S. Dollar

Gold prices rose on Thursday, propped up by a weaker dollar amid ongoing worries regarding a trade war between the U.S. and its allies.

Spot gold traded 0.1 percent higher at $1,296.91 per ounce. U.S. gold futures for August delivery were almost unchanged at $1,301.30 per ounce.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six major currencies, declining 0.2 percent to 93.497.

The Trump administration is not retreating from the tough stance it has taken on trade, according to Larry Kudlow, the White House' top economic adviser said on Wednesday, setting a stage for a dispute with America's top allies at this week's G7 summit in Canada.

The euro remained near two-week highs against majority of its competitors on Thursday, on increasing bets the European Central Bank may announce it will unwind its stimulus programme by year-end as early as next week.

The ECB will discuss next week whether to exit bond purchases later this year, the bank's top chief economist said on Wednesday, a hawkish message seen girding investors for another reduction in stimulus.

Holdings of SPDR Gold trust declined 0.42 percent to 832.59 tonnes on Wednesday.

India's gold imports fell a fifth consecutive month n May to 48 tonnes as a rally in local prices to near their highest level in 21 months reduced retail purchases, initial data from GFMS and bank dealers showed.

Trading leveraged products such as forex and CFDs carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. There is a possibility to lose all you initial capital. Before trading you should fully understand the true extent of your exposure to the risk of loss and your level of experience.