US crude futures rise by $1.31/bbl on strong euro, spread play

11 February 2013 21:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--NYMEX light sweet crude (WTI) for March delivery settled at $97.03/bbl, up by $1.31 versus the previous close, on the back of a strong euro that makes dollar denominated commodities cheaper.

WTI also responded to a prediction by a couple of Wall Street banks that the negative WTI-Brent spread would shrink dramatically in the second quarter, so investors poured money into the spread by buying WTI and selling Brent.

The rally was in thin volume due to the absence of global market participation as a result of Lunar New Year celebrations across much of Asia and despite weakness in the stock market.

In contrast, the North Sea benchmark, Brent, sold down sharply on eurozone economic worries after moving into overbought territory during the previous week while widening the negative trans-Atlantic Brent-WTI arb. The Brent-WTI spread had widened over $23.00.

Overnight, March WTI had established a low of $94.97/bbl, down by 75 cents, before surging up to $97.09/bbl, up by $1.37, and settle just off the top of the range.

ICE Brent for March delivery bottomed out at $117.54 before settling at $118.13/bbl, down by 77 cents.

By: Ignacio Sotolongo
+1 713 525 2653

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