Oil climbed to a nine – month high in New York as signs of an improving U.S. economy and progress on a bailout for Greece bolstered the outlook for fuel demand.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9 percent to cap a weekly gain of 4.6 percent as the index of U.S. leading indicators advanced in January for a fourth month. Germany’s government signalled that finance ministers may be ready to support a 130 billion-euro ($171 billion) rescue for Greece.
Oil for March delivery rose 93 cents to $103.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement price since May 10. The gain capped the biggest weekly advance since Dec. 23. Brent oil for April settlement dropped 53 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $119.58 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract touched $120.70, the highest level since June 15, before slipping. Brent’s premium to April WTI narrowed $1.49 to $15.98 a barrel.
Technical analysis for WTI Crude is showing price action approaching major resistance area at 103.75 – 104.50. Only a clear breakthrough and a daily close above these levels could indicate a possibility of further gains. First major resistance on the upside is located at 114.95 which is a previous high dating to May 2011. Alternatively if the current resistance levels hold first support on the downside is located at 99.11 which is 21/55 Day SMA followed by 95.33 which is the recent low dating to Feb 2012.