Benchmark crude for March delivery dipped to US$95.7 on the Nymex, reversing course after rising earlier in the day. In London, Brent crude rose by over a dollar to end at US$118.9 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
An initial rise in oil prices was witnessed on release of data showing that China's trade growth surged in January- exports saw a 25% hike y-o-y, while import growth surged to 28%. However, some analysts say that year on year data could be slightly distorted because China went on Lunar New Year holidays in January in 2012. In 2012, companies picked up pace in January to fill orders before shutting down for the holiday, which falls in February this year.