Brent North Sea crude for March delivery has inched up to US$ 111.25, rising in Asia on news that the International Monetary Fund is increasing its firepower to aid in crisis intervention. The IMF plans to raise US$500 bln more to increase its ability to help countries in financial trouble. This amount includes a recent European commitment to add about US$200 bln to its resources.
This news is affecting market sentiment to push prices up. A drop in US crude inventories after International Energy Agency (IEA) slashed its estimate for global demand growth in 2012 has also helped bolster prices.