The price of oil crept up toward $95 a barrel Tuesday after China's central bank injected credit into the financial system to offset concerns about slower economic growth, and experts raised their forecast for global crude demand.
By early afternoon in Europe, U.S. crude for February delivery was up 23 cents at $94.60 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dipping as low as $93.70 on Monday. The February contract expires later Tuesday and most trading has moved to the March contract, which was up 30 cents at $94.89.
Prices tumbled Monday after China's fourth-quarter economic growth declined from the previous quarter and other data suggested activity might slow further. But confidence rebounded after the Chinese central bank announced late in the day it would inject additional money into the financial system, reducing fears of a credit squeeze.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency raised its demand forecast for 2014 by 90,000 barrels a day and now sees global appetite for crude reaching 92.5 million barrels a day.
Though it remains fragile, demand from Western industrialized nations is set to rise for the first time since 2010, the Paris-based IEA said, also noting that domestic crude production in the United States in 2013 was 990,000 barrels a day higher than a year earlier.
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