Oil, stocks on the boil again on Iran and Greece
20 February 2012
Supply cuts and demand hopes drove Brent crude prices to above $121 a barrel on Monday even as Greece bailout hopes boosted European stocks to seven-month highs.
Iran has halted export of crude to British and French companies in retaliation of the planned European Union embargo on that country over its disputed nuclear programme.
The markets were also buoyed by a surprise stimulus move in China, which announced fresh easing of money supply curbs, and robust economic data from the world's largest oil consumer, the United States.
Brent crude hit a session high of $121.15 per barrel, the highest level since mid-June last year. At 0815 GMT, Brent was trading lower at $120.38 a barrel.
US sweet light crude was up $1.36 at $104.60 a barrel, after hitting $105.21 a barrel, the highest since May last year.
Oil traders also took hope after China's central bank on Saturday cut the required reserve ratio (RRR) of banks, boosting lending capacity by more than $50 billion and supporting demand outlook for oil and other commodities from the world's second-largest economy.