Singapore: Oil prices jumped to near $92 a barrel Thursday in Asia after European leaders agreed on a plan to reduce Greece’s debt burden. Benchmark crude for December delivery was up $1.60 at $91.80 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract fell $2.97, or 3.2%, to settle at $90.20 in New York on Wednesday. Brent crude was up 82 cents at $109.73 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London. After a meeting that began Wednesday, EU president Herman Van Rompuy said early Thursday that policymakers struck a deal that will reduce Greece’s debt to 120% of its GDP in 2020.
The plan will require banks to take on 50% losses on their Greek bond holdings. Van Rompuy also said the eurozone and International Monetary Fund will give Greece another €100 billion ($140 billion).
Investors cheered the accord as a first step toward containing Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.4% on Wednesday and stock markets in Asia rose Thursday.
Crude has jumped about 21% from $75 on 4 October amid growing investor optimism that the US economy will avoid a recession this year. In other Nymex trading, heating oil rose 0.4 cents to $3.06 per gallon and gasoline futures gained 0.6 cents at $2.68 per gallon. Natural gas advanced 0.9 cents at $3.67 per 1,000 cubic feet.