Brent climbs towards $58 on contract covering, geopolitical tension

Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:29am EDT
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* April Brent, WTI contracts expire next week

* Brent rebounds from a one-month low, but gains seen limited

* Refinery maintenance to keep pressure on prices -analyst

By Keith Wallis

SINGAPORE, March 12 (Reuters) - Brent crude climbed towards $58 a barrel on Thursday for the second straight session as speculators covered their positions ahead of the April contract's expiry, while a strengthening dollar and a build in U.S. crude stocks capped prices.

Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and North Africa were also supporting crude futures.

Brent for April delivery rose 24 cents to $57.78 at 0426 GMT after gaining $1.15, or 2 percent, in the previous session in a rebound from a one-month low.

West Texas Intermediate was flat at $48.17, after closing the previous session down 12 cents.

"When contracts expire there is more uncertainty and volatility associated with oil. For investors speculating, directionally WTI seems to be facing more pressure heading down. Brent will move upwards," said Victor Shum, vice president of IHS Energy in Singapore.   Continued...