Sunday, December 20, 2009

Crude Oil Trades Near $73 on Signs of Global Economic Recovery

Crude oil traded near $73 a barrel in New York after rising last week amid optimism demand will increase as the global economy recovers from its worst recession since World War II. Oil prices may gain this week on expectations that increasing fuel demand in the U.S., the largest energy consumer, will reduce inventories, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Reports this week are forecast to show increasing sales of existing and new homes in the country. “If the sentiment around demand recovery continues to improve I’d see upward support for oil prices,” Ben Westmore, a minerals and energy economist at National Australia Bank Ltd., said in Melbourne. “But an oversupply problem overshadows the market, and it’s hard to see oil pushing much higher.”

Crude oil for January delivery was at $73.29 a barrel, down 7 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:51 p.m. Singapore time. The contract, which expires today, rose 1 percent to $73.36 on Dec. 18, the highest settlement since Dec. 7. Futures climbed 5 percent last week, the most in two months, and have gained 64 percent this year. Prices had jumped after Iranian troops occupied an oil field in a disputed border region with Iraq. The troops withdrew from the al-Fakah well in the East Maysan field late Dec. 19 after an armed confrontation, Iraq’s deputy minister of oil Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said yesterday. Separately, Iraqi television cited government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh as saying Iranian soldiers remained in Iraqi territory.....Read the entire article.

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