Oil prices were steady on Thursday, as optimism over recovering Chinese demand was offset by U.S. oil inventories hitting their highest in months and signs the U.S. Federal Reserve could keep raising interest rates. Brent crude futures gained 30 cents to $85.39 a barrel by 0856 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures inched up 26 cents to $78.73 a barrel. He said recovering Chinese demand and falling inflation were set to support oil prices in the second half of the year.
Stocks, crude oil and gold rose while the dollar eased on Thursday as investors sifted through earnings reports, German inflation data and Federal Reserve policymaker speeches for clues on how many interest rate hikes lie ahead. On the corporate news front Credit Suisse Group reported its worst annual loss since the global financial crisis in 2008, sending its shares lower. This was countered by better-than-expected earnings from Siemens and Britain's AstraZeneca, helping to pierce uncertainty over the interest rate outlook.
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