Bank of America Merrill Lynch - "The outlook for global growth has undoubtedly started to brighten at year-end. Although Europe remains mired in a double-dip recession, confidence has notably improved. On the back of that, OECD oil demand is just contracting modestly. Likewise, growth in EMs accelerated into year-end after a mid-year slump in growth, with China particularly surprising to the upside. In line with these trends, oil consumption in EMs has been accelerating. In November, China's apparent oil consumption rose by an eye-opening 0.94 million b/d YoY to a new record high of 10.5 million b/d. Manufacturing in India, South Korea and Taiwan expanded strongly at year-end with equally positive repercussions for oil demand.
(...) Given the warm winter weather, low European refining margins, and receding non-OPEC disruptions, the Brent crude oil market is missing a catalyst to propel prices higher short-term. On the other hand, OECD total petroleum stocks outside of the US remain low. Moreover, the Fed is likely printing $1 trillion this year, geopolitical risks are high, and social spending within OPEC will likely keep budget break-even costs elevated. We stick to our 1H13 forecast of $109/bbl and see Brent crude oil prices stuck in a range for now. But faster economic growth later in the year could awaken the giant and put Brent prices on an upward path."