SINGAPORE: Oil prices were mixed in Asian trading hours Thursday but analysts said sentiment will continue to be boosted by expectations of higher world economic growth.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February was up two cents at $94.19 in midday trade.
European benchmark Brent crude for February was down 37 cents at $106.76.”Crude oil prices are supported by an overall improvement in global sentiment,” said analyst Desmond Chua, of CMC Markets in Singapore, citing an upbeat forecast from the World Bank.
“WTI gains are outpacing the Brent benchmark amid a prolonged widening of spreads and a constant decline in US supplies,” he told.
Global oil prices rose Wednesday in New York following a bigger-than-expected drop in US stockpiles.
The US Department of Energy said commercial crude inventories fell 7.7 million barrels in the week ending January 10. The rise in oil prices also came after the World Bank upgraded its 2014 forecast for global economic growth, indicating a potential improvement in oil demand.
Global growth was estimated to hit 3.2 percent this year, accelerating from 2.4 percent in 2013.