West Texas Intermediate traded near a two-month high on signs of stronger economic growth in the U.S., the world’s largest oil consumer, while violence in South Sudan sparked concern supplies may be disrupted.
Futures were little changed in New York after gaining 2.8 percent last week. The International Monetary Fund is raising its outlook for the U.S. economy, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said yesterday. South Sudan evacuated some oil employees and plans a partial shutdown of facilities amid escalating unrest. OPEC won’t need to cut output as global demand growth will absorb additional crude supply, the group’s three biggest producers said on Dec. 21.
“Expectations of increased demand in the U.S.” are buoying crude, said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd. in Middelfart, Denmark. “Oil prices are supported due to the increased unrest in South Sudan,” which “seems to be on the edge of a civil war.”
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