Oil closed out the week with its highest settlement in more than five months, and prices have risen 19.0% this year.
The conflict in Libya is now in its sixth week, with reports divided as to whether government or rebel forces are gaining ground in the violent and prolonged conflict.
On the weekend fighting took place around the town of Brega, after Friday’s Nato airstrike that reportedly killed 13 people.
Yemenis protest despite appeal
Despite a call by President Ali Abdullah Saleh for demonstrations and sit-ins to end, protesters show no sign of going home. Video courtesy of Reuters.
”Investors seem to be in no mood to sell the markets here, this despite the less-than-compelling fundamental backdrop. The Libyan shortfall has been more or less offset by Saudi Arabia, while the Japanese (nuclear) crisis should also reduce oil import demand quite measurably, meaning that there likely is a statistical surplus in the system right now,” analysts at MF Global said in a research note.
Better-than-expected U.S. nonfarm payroll data also helped support oil prices, but MF Global analysts said global geopolitical tensions are having a bigger impact on crude.
“Participants are not bothering with data for the moment, as the focus remains on headlines out of the Middle East. The fact that global growth has yet to show any significant sign of decelerating is also keeping the ‘buy commodities’ theme very much intact,” the analysts said.