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22.01.2013 17:48

Oil increased

Oil increased as German investor confidence climbed to a 2 1/2-year high and a Bloomberg survey showed that international optimism about equities gained.

Futures rose as much as 0.5 percent after Germany’s ZEW Center for European Economic Research said its index of investor and analyst forecasts climbed to 31.5 from 6.9 last month. Global investors are the most bullish on stocks in at least 3 1/2 years, with almost two-thirds planning to boost holdings during the next six months, a Bloomberg survey showed.

The ZEW index, which aims to predict German economic developments six months in advance, advanced to the highest level since May 2010 and the biggest gain in 11 months. Economists forecast an increase to 12, according to the median of 39 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Watching Equities

Crude oil for February delivery rose 66 cents to the intraday high of $96.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. February futures expire today. The more- active March contract advanced 60 cents to $96.64. Yesterday’s transactions will be booked with today’s trades for settlement purposes as there was no floor trading because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

Brent oil for March settlement gained 37 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $112.08 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

The European benchmark traded at a $15.44 premium to West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded in New York. The spread was $15.16 on Jan. 17, the narrowest level based on closing prices since July 24.

The spread has shrunk since Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD) and Enbridge Inc. (ENB) resumed service of the Seaway pipeline running from Cushing to the Gulf Coast on Jan. 11 at a capacity of 400,000 barrels a day, up from 150,000 barrels. The link provides an outlet for record supplies in the central U.S.


Market Focus

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