Oil higher in Asia on positive Japanese data
Oil rose in Asia today as traders reacted to better than expected economic data from Japan, analysts said.
Singapore: Oil rose in Asia today as traders reacted to better than expected economic data from Japan, analysts said.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in March, gained 54 cents to USD 99.32 a barrel in morning trade.
Brent North Sea crude for March delivery was up 40 cents to USD 111.15.
"Oil prices are higher ... reacting largely to the positive Japanese economic data showing increased spending," said Ken Hasegawa, energy desk manager at Newedge brokerage in Japan.
Japan today said that household spending in the world's third largest economy rose for the first time since the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Industrial output in Japan also rose 4.0 per cent in December, exceeding market expectations of a 2.8 per cent jump and a reversal from November's 2.7 per cent dip.
The upbeat data showed a slight rebound in the Japanese economy, which was hit hard by the March disaster that left more than 19,000 people dead and missing, and triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Meanwhile, traders were closely watching the latest efforts by eurozone leaders to resolve Greece's debt woes.
Following a European Union summit that saw agreement on a new treaty to end deficits, EU president Herman Van Rompuy called for a new deal with Athens "by the end of the week" on a second bailout.