Oil above $117 ahead of ECB meeting
Oil rose above $117 per barrel this morning as traders waited for the outcome of a ECB meeting.
Oil rose above $117 a barrel this morning as traders awaited word from the European Central Bank that could confirm speculation the region's troubled economy was turning a corner.
Brent has steadily risen over the past three weeks as positive economic data in key economies boosted the outlook for oil consumption, while simmering tensions in the Middle East have led to supply concerns, further supporting prices.
March Brent futures were trading up 55 cents at $117.28 per barrel at 09.17 GMT, the highest level since mid- September, while US crude added 15 cents to $96.77.
Investors were waiting for European Central Bank president Mario Draghi's views on the region's economy at a news conference at 13.30 GMT following the body's policy meeting.
"The European Central Bank press conference today will be very important for overall sentiment over the euro zone," Bjarne Schieldrop, an analyst at SEB, said.
Oil markets have been drawing comfort in recent weeks from signs the euro zone economy has neared its bottom, while the economies of top oil consumers United States and China also signalled a pickup in activity.