Oil Spike

SINGAPORE, February 7, 2011 (AFP) – Brent crude prices surged above 100 dollars in Asia on Monday as major regional equities clocked strong performances in their first trading day since the start of the Chinese New Year, analysts said. “Oil was also boosted by US economic figures on Friday that showed jobless rates plunging to nine percent, the lowest since April 2009,” she said. New York’s main future contract, light sweet crude for March, was up 32 cents to $89.35 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March advanced 71 cents to $100.54.

Buoyant openings of major Asian equities markets, in particular the Japanese Nikkei index, was boosting crude markets, said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst for Phillip Futures in Singapore.

“The Japan Nikkei rose to a nine-month high on Monday… and there was an increase in investors’ risk sentiment,” she told AFP.

Financial markets in Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea reopened Monday after a hiatus due to the Lunar New Year long weekend.