Brent crude jumps to $120 per barrel

PTI Singapore | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on April 11, 2012

Oil prices edged higher in Asian trade today after heavy losses in New York but the sentiment was dampened by renewed jitters over European debt crisis and weak economic data from China, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in May was up 26 cents at $101.26 per barrel while Brent North Sea crude for May gained 24 cents to $120.12 in morning trade.

WTI had fallen $1.44 in New York while Brent had dived $2.79.

Nervousness over Europe’s debt crisis returned to the market as yields on Spanish debt jumped amid rising doubt over its ability to stabilise its finances, analysts said.

“A sharp rise in Spanish and other peripheral European sovereign debt yields dented investor confidence,” said Mr Justin Harper, market strategist at IG Markets Singapore.

“Spain’s 10-year yields are trading just below 6.0 per cent, which isn’t far off the 6.7 per cent peak they hit last November as panic was rife over a euro zone collapse.”

Mr Harper and other analysts said weak economic data from China was also keeping a lid on gains.

“Energy markets were hit hard by China’s slowing imports, as it is the world’s second biggest crude oil consumer,” he said.

Phillip Futures said the March trade data “showed China’s import growth fell below expectations, indicating tepid first-quarter demand’’.

China, the world’s largest energy consumer, had yesterday said that it recorded a trade surplus of $5.35 billion for March, reversing a trade deficit of $31.48 billion for February.

Published on April 11, 2012
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