Crude-oil futures cross US$80 for the first time in over a month

Monday morning saw crude oil prices in Asia rise past US$80 for the first time in more than a month, benefiting from positive economic data and from a tightening global market balance. Traders are upbeat about the prospects for oil demand from USA and China- the world's two biggest energy consumers. Crude for March delivery climbed to US$80.51 in electronic trading on Globex, the strongest intraday level since mid-January. Sale of highway diesel, a good indicator for US economic activity, has begun to recover. Also, a recent rebound in US shares has also boosted sentiment toward crude along with reports that China increased the volume of oil it processed in January by 29% year-on-year in January to 30.14 mln metric tons.
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