As a cold wave hit Northeast USA, oil prices rose as traders wanted to avoid being short on the eve of a 3 day US holiday weekend. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, rose to US$48.35/ barrel. In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in April was at US$46.35/barrel.
Trends indiacte that any bearish news, like the large builds in US stocks on Wednesday, does not seem to have a major impact on the markets. However, in the event of any bullish news, about OPEC or demand, spikes up prices.
A report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has raised ts forecast for 2005 global oil demand growth to 2.11%t from the previous estimate of 2.0%. Despite this strong forecast, OPEC plans to reduce its production at its next meeting on March 16 in Isfahan, Iran.