Oil prices rebound on upbeat German data

22nd January 2013, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices rebounded on Tuesday, as a weaker dollar boosted demand and in the wake of upbeat German economic data, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March gained 25 cents to $111.96 a barrel in late London deals.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February, won 46 cents to $96.02 a barrel.

Crude prices had fallen on Monday as investors banked profits following gains last week driven by encouraging economic data from the United States and China, and the hostage killings in oil and gas producer Algeria, traders said.

"Brent oil rebounded on Tuesday... supported by weaker US dollar and robust German economic data that boosted investors' confidence," said Sucden brokers analyst Myrto Sokou.

A survey published on Tuesday showed that German investor sentiment has struck the highest levels since the start of the eurozone debt crisis in 2010 as the outlook for Europe's top economy continues to brighten.

The widely watched investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute soared to 31.5 points in January from 6.9 points in December.

That marked the highest level since May 2010, when Greece had to be bailed out and the sovereign debt crisis began to unfold.

Oil markets were concerned about potential supply disruptions following the seizure by Islamic militants of a gas field in Algeria and a bloody rescue mounted by government forces.

"We have geopolitical risks that are supporting prices," said Victor Shum, managing director at IHS Purvin and Gertz in Singapore.

Thirty-seven foreigners of eight nationalities were killed by Islamist militants in last week's well-planned attack on a remote gas plant, some of them executed with a bullet to the head, Algeria's premier has said.

The grim body count was issued late on Monday in the north African country as the government gave its first death toll from the four-day crisis at the In Amenas gas plant, deep in the Sahara.

The plant, part of a natural gas industry that is vital to Algeria's economy, is run by three companies including Britain's BP. Among others with employees caught up in the crisis was Japanese engineering firm JGC.


© 2013 AFP

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