Brent crude rose today, after fresh concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme came to light, counteracting weaker than expected demand growth from France and Germany.

Brent rose by 25 cents to $118.13 per barrel, while US crude jumped by 27 cents at $97.28 per barrel, reported Reuters.

Despite earlier positive news regarding increased manufacturing from Europe, data released this morning showed that both France and Germany’s economies had contracted in last quarter of 2012, causing any optimism to be short lived.

Germany’s economy shrunk by 0.6% and France’s by 0.3%.

Meanwhile, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have predicted a faster-than-expected growth in global oil demand for 2013.

In contrast to the increase predicted by the two other agencies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has reduced its 2013 demand growth forecast by 90,000 barrels per day to 840,000bpd.

Investors are now anticipating the results from the meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the G20 countries, expected to be held by the end of this week, to give an indication about the outlook for the global economy.

Oil prices may also get some boost from the geo-political tensions, particularly from North Korea’s recent nuclear test and the escalating conflict in Syria.

Image: Production in the eurozone expanded by 0.7% in December 2012. Photo courtesy of Lars Christopher Nøttaasen.