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Oil Rises to Nine-Month High on Greece, Iran

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oil increased to a nine-month high after Greece won a second bailout and Iran said it stopped selling crude to France and Britain.

Futures rose as much as 2.7 percent after the euro-area ministers approved 130 billion euros ($173 billion) in aid for Greece by tapping into European Central Bank profits and coaxing investors into providing debt relief, shielding the region from a default. Iran stopped selling oil to the countries yesterday, preempting a European Union ban, an official news website said.

“There’s a lot of relief about the Greek situation in the market and Iran is making a lot of noises,” said Kyle Cooper, director of research at IAF Advisors, a Houston-based energy consulting company. “The Greek agreement has increased optimism about the economy.”

Crude oil for March delivery gained $2.62, or 2.5 percent, to $105.86 a barrel at 2:04 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract climbed to $106.07, the highest intraday level since May 5. Futures have risen 7.1 percent this year. The March contract expires at the close of floor trading today.

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