Oil ends higher after US data; buoyed by economic optimism

Crude was steady on Friday, buoyed by optimism that monetary stimulus in the euro zone, and demand in the U.S., will lift economic growth and demand for fuel.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank launched a series of measures to pump money into the sluggish euro zone economy. Investors also eyed key jobs data from the United States which matched consensus and reinforced the belief that the world's largest economy and oil consumer is on a recovery path.

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Brent lost early gains to trade down 20 cents under $109 a barrel. U.S. crude finished the U.S. session 18 cents at $102.66 a barrel.

US will continue to pause efforts to reduce Iran's oil sales: DJ
US will continue to pause efforts to reduce Iran's oil sales: DJ

News of the European stimulus and elevated U.S. crude inventories widened Brent's premium to West Texas Intermediate (WTI) <CL-LCO1=R> to settle above $6 a barrel on Thursday after hitting nearly a month's low earlier in the session.

Total crude inventories remain high in the United States although new pipeline capacities have drained stocks at WTI's delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma, to the lowest since 2008. Oil's gains were limited, however, as market players eyed developments over Ukraine.

France hopes a gathering of world leaders in Normandy on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings will bring a thaw in the Ukraine crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko on Friday held their first face-to-face talks on the sidelines of a D-Day event in France and discussed a possible ceasefire agreement in Ukraine, a French official said.

--By Reuters