Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade today but analysts said that the sentiment will continue to be boosted by expectations of higher world economic growth.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for delivery in February was up two cents at $94.19 in midday trade. European benchmark Brent crude for February was down 37 cents at $106.76.

“Crude oil prices are supported by an overall improvement in global sentiment,” analyst Desmond Chua, of CMC Markets in Singapore, said citing an upbeat forecast from the World Bank.

“WTI gains are outpacing the Brent benchmark amid a prolonged widening of spreads and a constant decline in US supplies,” he said.

US inventories

Global oil prices rose in New York yesterday following a bigger-than-expected drop in US stockpiles.

The US Department of Energy had said commercial crude inventories fell 7.7 million barrels in the week ending January 10.

Growth forecasts

The rise in oil prices also came after the World Bank upgraded its 2014 forecast for global economic growth, indicating a potential improvement in oil demand.

Global growth is estimated to hit 3.2 per cent this year from 2.4 per cent in 2013.