Oil prices jump after Greek austerity deal

AFP News

World oil prices got a bump Monday from Greece's approval of austerity measures, which have been demanded by international creditors in return for a second bailout, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in March, gained $2.24 to $100.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Trade on the exchange had been suspended shortly before the close because of what operators described as "technical" difficulties.

Brent North Sea crude for March was up 62 cents to $117.93 in closing London deals.

Oil traders breathed a sigh of relief after Greek lawmakers on Sunday pushed through a new round of drastic austerity measures despite massive public protests that left dozens injured and buildings ablaze.

"The news from Greece has so far strengthened the euro and weakened the US dollar, providing further support to crude oil prices," said Sucden Energy analyst Myrto Sokou.

"It seems that it is again the same story as risk appetite is back to the table, while investors' sentiment has improved," she added, but cautioned that with the fragile political situation in Greece prices remains volatile.

Eurozone finance ministers are set to meet Wednesday in Brussels to discuss approving a second bailout for Greece and a debt writedown with private creditors that will help Athens avoid a messy default next month.

The market also continues to be affected by the tensions surrounding Iran, with JBC Energy warning the "geopolitical risk premium may increase further" on the price of oil.

Bombs targeted Israeli interests in India and Georgia on Monday, injuring a diplomat and her driver in New Delhi, officials said, in attacks that Israel accused Iran of masterminding.