SINGAPORE: Oil prices hovered above $74 a barrel Monday inAsia amid light trading volume for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Benchmark crude for March delivery was up 6 cents at $74.19 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.15 to settle at$74.13 on Friday.
Oil has crisscrossed the $75 a barrel level in recent months jumping to $84 last month before dropping to $69.59 earlier this month _ as investors’ eye weak crude demand from the U.S. and Europe offset by growing consumption in developing countries such as China.
In other Nymex trading in March contracts, heating oil rose 0.78cent to $1.9267 a gallon, and gasoline gained 0.33 cent to $1.9328 a gallon. Natural gas was steady at $5.47 per 1,000 cubic feet. In London, Brent crude was up 15 cents at $73.05 on the ICE futures exchange.