Oil traded near a seven-month high, poised for a fourth week of gains, after the International Energy Agency (IEA) increased its global demand forecast.

Crude oil for July 2009 delivery dropped $0.26 to $72.42 a barrel in after-hours trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12.24pm Sydney time. On 11 June 2009 the contract gained $1.35, or 1.9%, to $72.68 a barrel, the highest settlement since 20 October 2008.

The IEA raised its utilisation outlook for the first time since August 2009 amid signs the recession is bottoming out. Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor who predicted the financial crisis, said crude will probable touch $100 a barrel in 2010.

The IEA raised its global estimate for daily oil demand by 120,000 barrels to 83.3 million barrels in its monthly. The increase was driven by the US and China. Consumption worldwide will contract by 2.9% from 2008, the biggest fall since 1981.

The forecast change in demand was countered by hope for higher output from outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec). The IEA increased its 2009 estimate for non-Opec supply by 170,000 barrels a day from its May 2009 report due to production growth in Russia and Colombia and improved North Sea performance.

Brent crude for July 2009 delivery gained $0.99, or 1.4%, to $71.79 on 11 June on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange, the highest settlement since 20 October 2008.