Crude futures strengthen as buyers return after Wednesday’s sell-off

08 November 2012 12:32  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude futures strengthened on Thursday, rising by more than $1/bbl as buyers returned to the market following a sharp sell off in the previous session.

At 12:02 GMT, December Brent crude on London’s ICE futures exchange was trading at $107.60/bbl, up by 78 cents/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the North Sea benchmark rose to a session high of $107.93/bbl, up by $1.11/bbl.

December NYMEX light sweet crude futures (WTI) were trading at $85.26/bbl, up by 82 cents/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the US benchmark rose to a session high of $85.39/bbl, up by 95 cents/bbl.

China’s President Hu Jintao announced plans to increase economic reforms at the opening of the Communist party congress in Beijing on Thursday. With economic growth in China at a three-year low, China is attempting to increase domestic consumption in order to counter a decline in exports. Mr Hu said that China needed to move towards allowing the yuan to fluctuate more freely against other currencies.

The Greek parliament voted in favour of a further round of unpopular austerity measures, despite widespread protests in the country. The yes vote will enable Athens to receive the next tranche of €31.5bn ($40.4bn) of aid from the International Monetary Fund, the EU and the European Central Bank.   

Crude prices had fallen by more than $4/bbl on Wednesday on renewed concerns over the health of the US and European economies and an unexpected 2.9m bbl rise in US gasoline inventories.

Re-elected Democrat US President Barack Obama needs to reach an agreement with opposition Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives in order to avoid the so called  “fiscal cliff” – the $600bn of tax increases and spending cuts which are due to be implemented on 1 January.

There are concerns that if a deal cannot be reached to avert the implementation of these measures, the US and the global economy could face a further recession.

($1 = €0.78)

By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4327

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