Brent Oil Rises Above $61

Brent crude oil prices were poised on Friday for their biggest monthly gain since 2009, lifting the outlook for the battered commodity.

U.S. crude oil was set to end February with its first monthly rise in eight months, with signs of a pick-up in Chinese demand and supply outages in the North Sea lifting sentiment in oil markets.

“Evidence suggests the worst is over for oil because prices have stabilised,” said Neil Atkinson, head of analysis at Lloyd’s List Intelligence. “However, there is an argument that we have paused on a long-term downtrend as these is an ongoing surplus of demand.”

“It’s still too early to declare victory for oil,” he added.

Brent Crude prices rose 2.3 percent on Friday to trade at around $61.42, while U.S. oil futures gained 2.2 percent to $49.24 per barrel.

Oil prices slid 60 percent between June and January, with Brent crude falling close to $45 a barrel, amid a weak recovery in the global economy and reluctance by oil-producing group the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut production.

About Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst, Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, he established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto. Follow on Twitterand on his Google+ profile.

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