April crude oil prices traded higher throughout the overnight and early morning hours and have closed in on their January 12th high of $103.40. The crude oil market benefits from a positive outside market tone that has lifted global equity markets higher and a slightly negative track for the US dollar. It seems a good portion of that positive lift came in the wake of yesterday's US economic data that showed initial jobless claims falling to their lowest level in four years. Risk-taking sentiment gained in added lift on reports that Greece was closer to a second bailout package that could come as early as Monday. The crude oil market also seems to be drafting from gains in Brent crude oil, which rallied in the wake of forecasts for reduced North Sea output in March. April crude oil continues to reap a fear-factor stemming from supply disruption concerns surrounding Iran and the potential block of export flows into a number of European countries. In the meantime, it appears that most of the upside has been driven by optimism that the Greek debt situation could be near a resolution and improving US economic data. April crude oil prices are up nearly 8% from the February low into this morning's high. The bull camp gets the early edge this morning, with a chance of revisiting its January high.
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