Oil prices: Brent crude inches above $30 per barrel

 
Jessica Morris
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The IEA warned oil markets face "enormous strain" (Source: Getty)

Oil prices rose above the $30 per barrel mark today, as traders weighed mixed messages from global oil markets.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, jumped as much as five per cent to above $30 per barrel today. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the US benchmark, rose 1.8 per cent to $29.96.

It came as data showed Chinese oil demand was likely to hit a record high in 2015. Reuters crunched preliminary government figures to show China's oil consumption rose to 10.32 million barrels per day (bpd) last year, up 2.5 percent from 2014, defying the slowing economy.

Despite this, oil prices still remain near 12-year lows.

Traders appeared to look through the International Energy Agency's (IEA) monthly report, which warned there will be an "enormous strain" on oil markets this year.

"We conclude that the oil market faces the prospect of a third successive year when supply will exceed demand by one million bpd and there will be enormous strain on the ability of the oil system to absorb it efficiently," the IEA said.

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