Oil market trades mixed

16th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

Global oil prices were mixed on Thursday but analysts said sentiment would continue to be boosted by expectations of higher world economic growth.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February rose 37 cents to $94.54 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for February fell 11 cents to $107.02 per barrel in London midday deals.

Prices had risen on Wednesday in New York following a bigger-than-expected drop in US stockpiles that indicated stronger demand.

"Crude oil prices are supported by an overall improvement in global sentiment," said analyst Desmond Chua, of CMC Markets in Singapore, also citing an upbeat forecast from the World Bank.

"WTI gains are outpacing the Brent benchmark amid a prolonged widening of spreads and a constant decline in US supplies," he told AFP.

The US Department of Energy said Wednesday that commercial crude inventories fell 7.7 million barrels in the week ending January 10.

"The increase in price was attributable in part to a sharper-than-expected reduction in US crude oil stocks and in part to significantly rising equity markets," Commerzbank analysts said.

"Nonetheless, the underlying trend remains downward given the plentiful supply of the market and the expectation of growing supply from Libya and Iran."

Wednesday's rise in oil prices also came after the World Bank upgraded its 2014 forecast for global economic growth, indicating a potential improvement in oil demand.

Global growth was estimated to hit 3.2 percent this year, accelerating from 2.4 percent in 2013.


© 2014 AFP

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