Oil near nine-month high
Higher demand forecasts support oil price.
Brent crude steadied on this morning, holding just below a nine-month high near $119 (€85) per barrel on forecasts for faster-than-expected growth in global oil demand this year, with easing tensions in Iran helping to subdue prices.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries increased their outlook for world oil consumption growth, citing increasing signs of a recovery in the global economy.
Investors are also taking cues from the currency markets, which are awaiting a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers this week amid increasing international tensions over the euro's strength and the yen's weakness.
"The faster demand forecasts are supporting oil prices, but the concerns of a currency war are weighing on the markets," said Ker Chung Yang, senior commodity analyst at Philips Futures in Singapore.
Front month Brent futures shed 10 cents to trade at $118.56 per barrel in early day trade. It touched a high of $118.75 earlier in the session, around 40 cents away from a nine-month high of $119.17 hit last week.
US crude rose 12 cents to $97.63 per barrel.