Optimism in stock markets and expectations of robust corporate earnings in USA have sustained market sentiments, and propped oil prices above US$76 a barrel in Asian trade. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, rose marginally to US$76 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude also for August inched up to US$75.45. China's rising crude oil imports, drop in crude inventories, and the International Monetary Fund's forecast for stronger global growth were also supporting oil prices.
Q2 corporate earnings in the United States are due out this week, and have been raised cheer in the oil markets. This is because USA is the world's largest energy consumer and its consumption patterns, also linked to economic growth, are closely monitored by the market.