Crude oil was up in Asia today, buoyed by strong Japanese equities as the market recovered from a downbeat US jobs report, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May added 14 cents to $92.84 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for May delivery increased 32 cents to $104.44.

“The oil market is moving in sync with the Japanese stock market. Oil is also recovering from the selling that came after the US jobs report,” Victor Shum, Managing Director at IHS Purvin and Gertz in Singapore, told AFP.

Tokyo stocks soared three per cent in opening trade today as the yen plunged further following the Bank of Japan’s sweeping monetary easing last week.

Investors are cheering the weakening yen and its obvious impact on future corporate earnings, market players said.

The BoJ on Thursday embarked on a new era of huge spending by releasing a flood of easy money, in its boldest attempt to drag the Japanese economy out of decades of crushing deflation.

But a dismal US jobs report released Friday that fell far short of market expectations continued to weigh on sentiment.

The Labor Department said the United States added just 88,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate dipped to 7.6 per cent from 7.7 per cent in February, but only because people dropped out of the workforce.

Shum said the latest rise in oil prices should be viewed with caution “as the latest jobs data indicates that the US economy may be entering a soft patch of slower recovery“.

The health of the US economy, which is the world’s biggest oil consumer, affects global oil prices.

(This article was published on April 8, 2013)
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