January crude oil prices traded higher during the early morning hours, supported by sharply higher global equity markets and a nearly 1.0% decline in the US dollar. Some traders indicated that one of the demand concerns for crude oil has been the European debt crisis, and speculation overnight that the IMF was in talks with Italy regarding a 600 billion euro rescue package seemed to tamp down those concerns. There were also reports that US spending over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend reached a new record high, and that was seen as a positive for crude oil demand prospects. Another area of support appears to be the growing talk of sanctions against Iran, which has raised the potential of supply disruptions out of the area.