Crude mixed on eve of European summit

25th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

World oil prices were mixed on Tuesday as traders awaited a midweek European summit on resolving the region's debt crisis while upbeat Chinese economic data provided support, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for December delivery, gained 97 cents to $92.24 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for December fell 21 cents to $111.24 in early afternoon deals.

Traders were on the sidelines ahead of Wednesday's emergency European Union debt rescue summit, said Nick Trevethan, senior commodities strategist for ANZ Research in Singapore.

"There is a degree of fence-sitting ahead of the EU summit tomorrow. If they make progress, it will be highly positive for the market, though they have the tendency to disappoint somewhat," he told AFP.

Market sentiment heading into the summit had been positive following a weekend meeting of EU leaders who seemed to put aside differences and make progress in finding a salve to the region's debt woes.

However, persistent worries that Italy could need a bailout on the lines of debt straddled Greece as well as negotiations centered on a big debt write-off for Athens cast a shadow.

For the moment, crude markets were being supported by stellar manufacturing data from China, Trevethan stated.

"We have some decent data out of China, which helped lift sentiment not just in oil but in other commodities," he said.

Manufacturing activity in China hit a five-month high in October, HSBC said Monday, easing fears of a hard landing in the world's second-largest economy and greatest energy consumer.


© 2011 AFP

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