Oil fluctuated after the biggest increase in more than two years as Saudi Arabia said it was confident that prices would rebound as global economic growth boosts demand.
Brent in London swung between gains and losses after climbing 3.6 percent on Dec. 19, the most since October 2012. A global glut that has driven prices lower was created by a lack of cooperation from producers outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to Saudi Arabias oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi. The market is oversupplied by 2 million barrels a day, said Mohammed Al Sada, Qatars energy minister.
Oil has slumped more than 20 percent since OPEC decided to maintain its collective quota at a meeting last month while the U.S. pumps crude at record levels. Producers outside the 12-member group should should cut their œirresponsible output as excess supply harms the market, according to Suhail Al Mazrouei, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates.
Brent for February settlement was 19 cents higher at $61.57 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 11:00 a.m. in Sydney. Prices are down 45 percent this year. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $4.16 to West Texas Intermediate.
WTI for February delivery was at $57.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 29 cents. The January contract expired on Dec. 19 after rising $2.41 to $56.52. The volume of all futures traded was about 51 percent above the 100-day average. Front-month prices have decreased 42 percent this year.
Source : Bloomberg