Oil prices hovered near three-year highs on Thursday, as lower inventories as well as ongoing production cuts led by OPEC helped keep prices in good range.
Brent crude futures and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $69.14 a barrel and $63.53 a barrel respectively by 0144 GMT.
In stocks, Asian shares started losing ground after a strong beginning of the year.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.1 percent early on Thursday.
In the Middle East, markets ended the day mixed on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia's index added 0.1 percent helped by petrochemical shares, which tracked good level of oil prices. Saudi's PetroRabigh jumped 5.6 percent in heavy trade.
Dubai's index edged 0.1 percent down. But Deyaar ended the day 3.5 percent up, trading in heavy volumes compared to the rest of the market.
In Abu Dhabi, the index fell 0.3 percent.
Egypt's index gained 0.2 percent.
In currency markets, the dollar bounced back against the yen on Thursday, edging up 0.1 percent to 111.54 yen.
Spot gold was up 0.1 percent early on Thursday supported by weaker equities.
In other news, Egypt's Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said on Wednesday that he expects inflation to fall below 20 percent next month and to 10 to 12 percent during 2018.For access to market moving insight, subscribe to the Trading Middle East newsletter by clicking here
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