Brent holds above $116 on US data
Brent crude futures held above $116 per barrel this morning after positive economic data from the United States and Europe.
Brent crude futures held above $116 per barrel this morning after positive economic data from the United States and Europe bolstered the view that the global economy is on the mend.
The vast US services sector extended a three-year run of growth, boosting riskier assets, while data showing signs of recovery in Europe's business activity also helped calm nerves jarred by fears a potential political turmoil would derail the region's efforts to resolve its debt crisis.
"The markets are now more optimistic about the world economy, so oil prices are heading up, but gradually," said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity sales manager at Newedge in Tokyo.
Brent rose 9 cents to $116.61 per barrel at 05.29 GMT, extending its gains from the previous session when it hit a more than four-month high. US crude rose 1 cent to trade at $96.65.
Brent may test $120 per barrel this month, while U.S. oil may remain under a little pressure, Mr Hasegawa said.
US crude has dropped more than a percent so far this week, versus a mostly steady Brent, as concerns about excess supply at Cushing, Oklahoma - delivery point for the US contract - weigh on the benchmark.
Brent on the other hand has been supported by an expected shortfall in March supply of the four North Sea crude oil grades that underpin the futures contract.