global oil prices strike 2 week peak
Last Updated : GMT 16:22:18
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Global oil prices strike 2 week peak

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Arab Today, arab today Global oil prices strike 2 week peak

London - AFP

Global oil prices struck two-week highs on Wednesday, with the market buoyed by forecasts of stronger crude demand, analysts said. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in March, rallied to $95.71 a barrel -- the highest point since January 3. It later pulled back to $95.39, up 42 cents from Tuesday's closing level. Brent North Sea crude for March gained 66 cents to $107.39 a barrel. "Brent futures rose above $107 on Wednesday as outlook reports indicated global oil demand will rise more quickly this year as economic growth in industrialised countries accelerates," said Investec analysts in a research note to clients. For the first time for nearly two years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its global growth forecast by 0.1 percentage point to 3.7 percent for 2014. The optimistic outlook is fuelled by solid growth in the United States as other countries also move away from austerity budgets. The International Energy Agency (IEA) also raised its prediction of global oil demand, which is dependent on the strength of the world economy. Oil prices were "lifted by (the) IMF's upward revision of 2014 global growth and (after) the International Energy Agency upped its prediction of oil consumption growth in 2014", analysts from United Overseas Bank said in a market commentary. Stronger economic growth "denotes greater demand for crude oil because of expected higher economic activity", added Tan Chee Tat, investment analyst at Philips Futures in Singapore. Tan also said that the coming into operation on Wednesday of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States helped bolster WTI prices. "The pipeline is expected to be able to transport 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day," Tan told AFP. He said the pipeline would help further alleviate the supply glut at the Cushing port in Oklahoma as it eases the transport of crude oil to refineries in the US Gulf Coast to meet demand.

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