The price of oil rose above $95 a barrel on Wednesday amid expectations for solid demand and weaker supply, particularly in Asia and Europe.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 53 cents at $95.50 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, the Nymex March contract closed at $94.97 a barrel, up 38 cents.
The IMF said Tuesday it expects the world economy to grow 3.7 percent this year and the U.S. economy by 2.8 percent. Both are slightly higher than its previous projections.
Underpinning expectations of increased demand for crude is the recent decision by the International Energy Agency to raise its demand forecast for 2014 by 90,000 barrels a day.
The IEA report also indicated some changes on the supply side, its data showing larger declines than previously expected.
"There are shortages in Asia and Europe, and the previously large surplus in America has been significantly reduced," said analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt in a note to clients. "According to these figures, the oil market is therefore tighter than previously assumed, meaning that a return of Libya and Iran to the oil market would pose less of a problem."
Investors will also be monitoring fresh information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products.