The Group of 20 economies has embraced a goal of generating more
than $2 trillion in additional output over five years, while
creating tens of million of new jobs, signaling optimism that the
worst of crisis-era austerity is behind.
A drawdown in U.S. oil stockpiles over the past few weeks due to a
severe chill is also lending support.
Brent crude had gained 19 cents to $110.04 a barrel by 0340 GMT,
after settling higher for a second straight week. U.S. oil rose 27
cents to $102.47, after climbing for the sixth week in its longest
winning streak in more than a year.
"The outlook is momentarily positive for energy prices," said
Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. "It is
more the demand side of the equation. Reasonable global growth in
oil demand is expected."
A lack of data indicating the demand growth outlook for oil over the
next few days will mean technicals and other drivers such as the
U.S. dollar may influence prices, McCarthy said.
He expects the U.S. benchmark to face minor resistance at $103 a
barrel, now that it has broken key resistance at $100. If prices go
beyond $103, the next key ceiling for the contract is at
Similarly, Brent futures have broken through an important resistance
level at $109.50-$110 and now face a minor cap at $111.50, he said.
"We haven't got a lot to move us around," McCarthy said. "It's
fairly data free over the next few days, so technicals and other
factors will drive the market."
Money managers raised their net long U.S. crude futures and options
positions to a record in the week to Feb. 18, U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed. Big hedge funds and other
speculative traders boosted their combined futures and options
position on the New York and London exchanges by 29,113 contracts to
393,248 during the period.
Bullish sentiment is emerging despite medium-term concerns that
steadily rising U.S. shale oil production and a long-standing export
ban may create a glut of light, sweet crude in the United States by
[to top of second column]
Investors are also keeping an eye on escalating tension in the
Middle East and North Africa and the potential for further
disruption in oil exports.
In Libya oil output has plunged further, declining to 230,000
barrels a day on Sunday after a new protest shut the El Sharara
field, down from 1.4 million bpd in July when nationwide protests
In South Sudan, the capital of the main oil-producing Upper Nile
region, Malakal, remains divided between the army and rebels after
forces loyal to Machar raided the town and fought against government
A petroleum ministry official told Reuters on Thursday that national
oil production had fallen to about 170,000 barrels per day even
before the rebel strike on Malakal, a fall of around a third since
the fighting erupted in December.
In Iraq, at least 17 people were killed and dozens wounded in
bombings and shootings in northern Iraq and Baghdad on Sunday,
police and medical sources said.
(Reporting by Manash Goswami; editing by
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