Crude Oil Hits 15-Month High

Crude oil is at 15-month highs this morning on the back of bullish consumption data from China, a weak dollar and ideas that economic recovery will lead to increases in demand.

China, the world's second largest energy consumer, had a record annual total of oil consumption during 2009 of 204 MMT, new data reveals.

The old chestnut of an improved global economic outlook is also fueling speculation that demand will continue to increase in 2010, and that the current cold snap gripping most of the northern hemisphere will help kick-start consumption.

All eyes will now be on US stocks reports from the API tomorrow and the US Energy Dept Wednesday.