Brent stays above $114

17 October 2012, Sweetcrude, LONDON – UK Brent futures remained above $114 on Wednesday following renewed hopes of a revival in oil demand growth.

This is coming as European Union member was spared a ratings downgrade, while simmering tension in the Middle East provided additional support.

Brent gained 10 cents to $114.08 a barrel early on Wednesday. The November contract, which expired on Tuesday, went off the board 73 cents lower at $115.07, while the December one settled 40 cents lower at $114.00. US oil gained 21 cents to $92.31.

“We are seeing prices react to the investment grade news for Spain, but the demand outlook continues to look weak because of the global economic condition,” said Victor Shum, managing director at IHS Purvin and Gertz in Singapore.

“Prices are drawing support from supply concerns in the Middle East.”

European Union governments imposed sanctions against major Iranian state companies in the oil and gas industry and strengthened restrictions on the central bank.

The US and the European Union are putting pressure on Iran to stop its disputed nuclear programme, while Tehran says it needs the technology to generate electricity.

Still, prices were under pressure from data showing US crude inventories rose more than expected last week, while distillate stockpiles showed a surprise build, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed.

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