March crude oil prices traded higher during the early morning hours, helped by weakness in the US dollar and reports that the IMF was boosting lending resources. While the outside market tone offered crude oil prices an early lift, the latest monthly report from the IEA lowered their 2012 global oil demand forecast by 220,000 barrels per day. The agency sited milder Northern hemisphere winter conditions and a sluggish global economy as factors trimming demand. Softening demand prospects was echoed by the World Bank, which lowered their 2012 global growth forecasts from 3.6% in June to 2.5%. Expectations for this week's EIA crude oil stocks report are for a build of around 2.0 to 2.5 million barrels, which would mark the fourth consecutive weekly gain. The EIA report is delayed one day due to Monday's MLK holiday.
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