“Brent crude traded near the highest level in one month as U.S. lawmakers prepared to resume budget talks and the United Arab Emirates said it arrested members of a terror cell that was planning attacks on oil-exporting nations.
Futures were little changed in London after rising the most in five weeks yesterday. PresidentBarack Obama and legislators returned to Washington for talks aimed at averting more than $600 billion in tax gains and spending cuts that start Jan. 1. The U.A.E. coordinated with Saudi Arabian officials to arrest members of the terror group who had equipment needed for their attacks, according to the official WAM news agency.
“The arrests in the U.A.E. appear to have had a big impact with lower liquidity in the oil market,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark, who predicts Brent will average $112 a barrel in the first quarter. “Fundamentals look pretty balanced.”
Brent for February settlement fell 39 cents to $110.68 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 1:03 p.m. local time. The volume was 46 percent less than the 100-day average. Prices yesterday gained $2.27, or 2.1 percent, to settle at $111.07, the highest close since Nov. 30.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery was unchanged at $90.98 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume traded for all contracts was 39 percent below the 100-day average. Futures advanced $2.37 to $90.98 yesterday. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $19.67 to WTI….”