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Markets

US crude above $80 in Asia

SINGAPORE: US crude inched above $80 in Asian trade Monday as traders took heart from the eurozone's indication they wou
26 Sep 2011

oilSINGAPORE: US crude inched above $80 in Asian trade Monday as traders took heart from the eurozone's indication they would boost funds in the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November gained 18 cents to $80.03 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for November delivery advanced 42 cents to $104.39.

Crude markets were cheered by the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) announcement Saturday that countries of the eurozone were considering pouring more funds into the EFSF to combat the region's debt crisis, analysts said.

"Oil is holding relatively steady on hope that the European countries will be able to get together to increase their reserve fund for the eurozone," said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore.

The 17 countries constituting the eurozone pledged on Saturday that they "will do whatever is necessary to resolve the euro-area sovereign debt crisis and ensure the financial stability of the euro area as a whole and its member states," the IMF's steering committee said.

"This includes implementing the euro-area leaders' decision of July 21 to increase the flexibility of the EFSF, maximising its impact, and improve euro-area crisis management and governance," the IMF added.

The EFSF is a special-purpose agency within the European Union that is financed by eurozone members and tasked with staving off a debt crisis within the region.

The eurozone commitment comes ahead of a crunch week for the euro and Greece as European and IMF experts resume a fiscal audit that will decide if debt-hit Athens can escape default while Germany tackles a key EU rescue vote.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2011