Oil prices surge past $114

January 30, 2013 - 1:41:46 am


LONDON: Global oil prices hit multi-month highs yesterday on the back of the weaker dollar and on the eve of a key monetary policy announcement in top crude consumer the US, dealers said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March rallied as high as $114.49, hitting the highest level since mid-October 2012. It later stood at $114.22 per barrel, up 74 cents from Monday’s closing level.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for March or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), struck $97.82, reaching a peak last seen on September 17. The contract later pulled back to $97.58, up $1.14 from Monday.

The US Federal Reserve started its regular monetary policy meeting yesterday which concludes today.

The Conference Board, meanwhile, reported that US consumer confidence sank sharply in January, to 58.6. That was well below expectations.

“Despite the softer confidence data for the US ... the macroeconomic backdrop remains favourable with equities near multi-year highs and the euro at $1.35 as we head to the first day of the Fed meeting,” said Sucden analyst Jack Pollard.