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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Market sentiment may drive oil price higher (Star)

Market sentiment is seen as driving the price of crude oil higher in the last couple of months as signs of better-than-expected growth fuelled optimism for prospects in the new year.

According to Bloomberg, yesterday's oil trading was bolstered by speculation that US third-quarter gross domestic product data (GDP), scheduled to be released later today, would come in higher than the survey of 2.8%, up from a November median estimate of 2.5% by economists.

Year-to-date, crude oil has risen by nearly 10% and by over 23% from a year ago. It was trading at US$89.60 per barrel at 5pm yesterday.

However, analysts pointed out that prices could stabilise should Opec members decide to increase production in order to support the still weak global economic growth, which New York University economics professor Nouriel Roubini said would remain intact albeit “marginally” weaker compared with this year.

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