March crude oil prices traded higher during the overnight and early morning hours, supported by news that the Greek Parliament approved new austerity measures. The outside market tone was also a bit positive on the Greek news, with a rally in global equity and commodity markets and weakness in the US dollar. Some traders indicated that the crude oil market continued to draft support from an improving US economic backdrop and prospects of better demand in China. Some corners of the market are looking for further easing in Chinese monetary policy as a factor bolstering growth as well as demand for crude oil during the first quarter. The demand situation in Japan (#3 world energy consumer) continues to show weakness, highlighted by a further contraction in their fourth-quarter GDP. Meanwhile, supply disruption concerns continue to offer level support, especially with escalating violence in Syria. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of February 7th showed non-commercial traders were net long 245,337 contracts, an increase of 1,688. Non-commercial and non-reportable traders combined held a net long position of 280,135 contracts, an increase of 3,609 on the week.