Singapore, June 7
Crude prices rose in Asian trade Thursday amid speculation of further monetary easing in the US and as France pledged speedy eurozone response should Spain require its aid.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, was up 35 cents to $85.37 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for July delivery gained 14 cents to $100.78.
"Crude oil futures rallied... on growing hopes for a rescue of Spain’s troubled banks to ease the eurozone debt crisis, and as a US Federal Reserve official hinted at more monetary easing," Phillip Futures said in a report. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici on Wednesday said the eurozone was ready to "mobilise very rapidly" to assist Spain if Madrid requested it, tempering fears of a worsening crisis in the region’s fourth largest economy.
In the US, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart said the Fed might need to consider more monetary easing if economic growth in the world’s largest oil consumer hit more road blocks. Stating that monetary policy was "appropriate" for the moment, Lockhart said in a speech posted on the bank’s website that the Fed would likely consider more action if growth stalled.
"Should it become clear that something resembling my baseline scenario of continued, though modest, growth is no longer realistic, further monetary actions to support the recovery will certainly need to be considered," he said.