Singapore: Oil prices rose today despite a report showing increasing US crude reserves and US President George W Bush’s call for Opec members to hike output, dealers said.
In morning trade, New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, gained 28 cents to $91.12 per barrel.
The contract closed down $1.06 at 90.84 in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.
Brent North Sea crude for February delivery settled down $1.23 at 89.75 in London yesterday.
Prices fell after the US Department of Energy said American reserves of crude climbed by 4.3 million barrels in the week ended 11 January.
The reserve increase was well above market expectations for a gain of 1.25 million barrels and broke an eight-week run of falls.
At the same time, the International Energy Agency, policy adviser to major industrialized nations, said it is keeping its 2008 forecast for oil demand unchanged despite growing expectations of a US recession.
Oil prices remain elevated but have shed almost $10 since striking a record high in New York of $100.09 per barrel earlier this month.
Bush, who ended a Middle East tour yesterday, voiced hope this week that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) would increase oil output to combat high prices, after his talks with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude producer.