Brent crude oil traded steadily near $115 on Thursday morning as data supporting hopes of a global economic recovery flooded the market. The commodity traded at $114.68.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve concluded a two day meeting in which it decided to continue its aggressive easing stance by promising to continue its $85 billion bond-buying plan, claiming it would continue the program until unemployment figures in the U.S. fall. The Fed's policy was supported by data showing that U.S. economic growth unexpectedly contracted.
The surprise contraction capped gains following the Fed's decision to continue with their bond-buying stimulus plan.
Despite the U.S.' fourth quarter decline, global oil demand is expected to rise in 2013. China, the second largest oil consuming nation, is expected to ramp up its fuel demand as its economy recovers. On Friday, the nation will release official manufacturing data, which most believe will show an increase in factory activity.
In the eurozone, recovery is in the forefront of investors' minds. Although the region has not completely bounced back from its three year economic crisis, it seems the financial markets are getting back on track. According to CNBC, the region's economic sentiment surpassed expectations and improved across all sectors in January.
With the global economy improving and forecasts for demand inching up, many have begun to watch geopolitical tension in the Middle East for signs of supply weaknesses. The Syrian civil war is slowly spreading and threatening to spill over the nation's borders.
Israeli warplanes attempted to destroy weapons on their way to Hezbollah by bombing a convoy near the nation's border with Lebanon. The attack is considered to be a statement warning Damascus not to send weapons to the Lebanese.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Copyright Benzinga. All rights reserved.