NewsCrude contracts rise above $74 per barrel backed by Asian stocks
AnalysisCrude contracts rose above $74 per barrel in the early session, trailing Asian equities on the back of improved confidence levels inclined; the sentiment is start to rise again over the prospects for the economy recovery which in its role will continue to support rising demand outlook for crude.

Asian stock indices ascended in the Asian session, after some banks earnings exceeded expectations; supporting crude to rise on the back of the bullish sentiment to record the highest at $74.75 per barrel. This comes after the IEA raised its expectations for demand levels on oil last week for 2010 by 1.6% or 170,000 barrels per day to 86.5 million barrels daily. The agency also added that this expected rise will be predominantly from the Asian continent.

A noticeable decline in trading volume was seen yesterday due to the US markets holiday for President's Day; while China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore celebrated the Lunar New Year. Trading levels, on the other hand, as of 12:33 PM Singapore time reached 20,854 compared to the five year daily average of 326,000.

As for NYMEX trading as of 02:30 EST; future heating contracts rose to $193.260 per gallon by $1.370; motor gasoline is trading around $194.000 per gallon after gaining $1.050; whereas natural gas contracts also followed and inclined $0.058 to record $5.526 per 1000 cubic feet. In London, Brent future contracts ascended by $0.850 to record $73.360.

Crude opened today at $73.95 per barrel, recording its highest at $74.925 and lowest at $73.95 per barrel, while presently trading around $74.77 per barrel.