Oil prices rise to US$106.92 in New York trade


LONDON–World oil prices swung higher on Thursday as the euro gained on hopes Greece’s debt swap would be successful, with tensions over Iran also supporting the crude market, analysts said. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, added 76 cents to US$106.92 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for April won US$1.19 to US$125.31 in London morning trade. Prices rallied, in line with global stock markets, on mounting optimism that Greece’s debt swap would be successful and after strong U.S. jobs data. The European single currency jumped to US$1.3215 on Thursday from US$1.3148 late in New York on Wednesday. The weaker greenback makes dollar-priced crude cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies, thereby stimulating demand. Elsewhere, oil traders were taking heed of the initial effects of Western sanctions against Iran, said IG Markets strategist Justin Harper. “Shipments of Iranian oil may have dropped about 25 percent as the threatening talk about reducing supplies from Iran are now being replaced with action. While this risk premium exists, oil will continue to face upward pressure,” he added.