The Dow Jones industrial average reached a record closing high on Tuesday after the US economy showed signs of strength. The sudden increase was attributed to data that showed the US service sector quickened at a rate unseen since last year. The surge in equity markets lent support to Brent as investors gained confidence that the US economy was picking up despite uncertainty over the recent “sequester”.
In the days to come, investors will be waiting for US nonfarm payroll data to confirm the region's positive momentum.
Chinese leaders' pledge to continue growing the economy at 7.5 percent added to Brent's positive momentum. The ambitious commitment to increasing GDP in the world's second largest oil consuming nation has kept markets optimistic about future demand.
A supply disruption in the North Sea at the Cormorant Alpha platform also boosted oil prices after a pipeline that delivers 100,000 barrels per day was shut down for repairs. According to CNBC, the operator hasn't given a timeline for the reopening and is working to determine whether or not it will be safe to reopen.
Brent prices are also vulnerable to developments in Venezuela this month since President Hugo Chavez lost a two year battle with cancer on Tuesday. In the weeks to come, investors will be watching for the OPEC nation's succession plan. At the moment, his death is not expected to significantly impact oil markets.
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