(Reuters) - Brent crude held near $109 a barrel on Monday after better U.S. jobs data and talk of stimulus measures by the euro zone to support growth, while more data was eyed for clues on the health of the global economy and the outlook for oil demand.
Supply disruptions in the North Sea and the Middle East also aided prices although Sudanese crude exports could resume soon as Sudan and South Sudan reached a deal on oil transit fees.
Brent crude rose 1 cent to $108.95 a barrel by 04.46 a.m. EDT after jumping nearly 3 percent on Friday. U.S. crude edged down 20 cents to $91.20 after surging close to 5 percent in the previous session.
"Prices did rise quite a lot so it's probably profit-taking going on," said Michael Creed, an economist at the National Australia Bank.
U.S. employers hired the most workers in five months in July, but an increase in the jobless rate to 8.3 percent kept prospects of further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve on the table.
Expectations for more stimulus measures from the euro zone to support the debt-laden region and the latest pledge by China, the world's top energy consumer, to step up monetary policy fine-tuning were also helping to keep a floor under oil prices.
"There is a greater degree of optimism in commodities surrounding the euro zone than 2-3 weeks ago," Creed said.
"We are still awaiting details regarding what Draghi meant by he'll do anything to maintain the euro."
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi had pledged last month to do whatever was necessary to protect the region from collapse, but did not reveal any immediate stimulus measures to stem the euro zone debt crisis at a policy meeting last week.
The market is now eyeing data from China due later this week that are likely to show the world's second-largest economy is, at best, stabilizing rather than recovering briskly.
SUDANESE OIL DEAL
On the supply side, a fall in North Sea output due to maintenance and lower exports from Iran on tight Western sanctions have shored up oil prices.
But Sudanese oil exports may resume soon as Sudan reached a deal with South Sudan on oil transit fees, a first step towards ending a dispute which had brought the hostile neighbors close to war. But Sudan also said it wanted a border security agreement before oil flows resumed.
Disputes between the countries have reduced Sudanese crude exports by about 350,000 barrels per day from early this year.
Investors are also watching the approach of Tropical Storm Ernesto which kept on a westerly course in the Caribbean Sea on Sunday and was expected to strengthen slowly over the next 48 hours.
Forecasters expect Ernesto to move into the southern Gulf of Mexico by Thursday but it was too early to know whether it could disrupt oil and gas operations in the gulf.
"Brent is testing a longer term resistance at around the $109 a barrel," ANZ analysts said in a note.
"A shift in Ernesto's course could prove a catalyst for Brent to rally towards $111 and for WTI to break up toward $94."
Money managers cut their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to July 31, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said.
(Editing by Himani Sarkar)