Thursday, March 29, 2012

crude oil prices outlook march 30 2012

crude oil prices outlook march 30 2012 ; Crude prices rebounded in Asian trade Friday after the United States said no decision had been made on tapping strategic oil reserves, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in May, gained 54 cents to $103.32 per barrel in the afternoon while Brent North Sea crude for May settlement was up 30 cents at $122.69.

“Despite the widespread speculation, nothing has come to fruition so far about the release of oil reserves and I think the market is reacting to that,”said Justin Harper, market strategist at IG Markets Singapore.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday: “I will say, as I have said repeatedly, that this option is on the table, but no decisions have been made and no specific actions have been proposed.”Oil prices had dipped in recent days on speculation that major consumer nations such as the United States, Britain and France could tap their strategic reserves to increase supply.

Prices also remain supported by wariness over a possible supply crunch brought on by Western sanctions on Iran. “The concerns are still there about Iran and a disruption in the Middle East,” said Harper.

Output from one of OPEC’s biggest producers has shrunk considerably on the back of sanctions from the US and its Western allies, who believe that Tehran is working towards nuclear weapons capability despite its denials

Capital Economics expects Brent crude to fall to $95 by the end of the year and $85 in 2013.

"The global economic recovery is set to disappoint," Capital Economics said in a report. "Europe is facing a deep recession, which would only be made worse if oil prices stay elevated for much longer."

In other energy trading, heating oil was up 0.9 cent at $3.18 per gallon and gasoline futures rose 0.9 cent at $3.35 per gallon. Natural gas slid 0.8 cents at $2.14 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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