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Oil prices remained positive today, after investors showed further economic optimism ahead of a two-day US Federal Reserve policy meeting and key employment data due out this week, both of which are expected to show more signs of economic recovery in the US.

Brent traded at $113.08 a barrel while US crude went up by 17 cents to $96.05, which is its seventh straight weekly gain, marking the longest such streak since early 2009, reports Reuters.

During the two-day meeting that will begin on Wednesday, the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee will review interest rates.

In December 2012, the Fed hinted at keeping the short-term interest rates very low until the country’s unemployment rate drops to 6.5%, in accordance with inflation.

"Oil markets have also received a push from increasing supply concerns due to ongoing tensions in the Middle East."

Investors are also awaiting US fourth-quarter GDP data, which is due on Wednesday and expected to influence oil trading.

Analysts predict that both US GDP and jobs will form crucial influential factors for equities and commodities this week, as they don’t expect the Fed to implement big changes.

Oil markets have also received a push from increasing supply concerns due to ongoing tensions in the Middle East.

OPEC member Iran came in support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and announced that it would consider any attack on Syria as an attack on itself.

Several people were killed in Egypt after a month-long state of emergency was declared in three Egyptian cities alongside the Suez Canal, as a measure to contain protests believed to be aimed at overthrowing the President Mohamed Mursi.


Image: US Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of AgnosticPreachersKid.