Crude futures rose to a near-10-day high in Asia Monday, as unrest in Libya intensified and the U.S. dollar appeared to be pressured by European and Chinese monetary policy.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in March traded at $87.38 a barrel at 0650 GMT, up $1.18 in the Globex electronic session, before its expiration Tuesday. It hit $87.77 a barrel on Feb. 11. The more traded March contract was up $1.80 at $91.51 a barrel.
April Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose $1.30 to $103.82 a barrel, MarketWatch reports.
"The tensions in the Middle East, particularly in Libya with the uprising against Qaddafi, is having an impact," Ben Westmore, a minerals and energy economist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Melbourne, said by telephone today. "It's not a Saudi Arabia or an Iran, but it would have an impact on the market balance if you were to see oil supply limited because of these conflicts."
Crude for April delivery rose as much as $1.99 to $91.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $91.51 at 2:55 p.m. Singapore time. It climbed 87 cents to $89.71 on Feb. 18. The less actively traded March contract, which expires tomorrow, gained $1.17 to $87.37, Bloomberg says.
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On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign