Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crude Oil Is Set for a Second Weekly Gain on Economic Recovery Optimism

Crude oil is poised for a second weekly gain as concern over a Greek default subsided and stronger than estimated retail sales in the U.S., the world’s biggest energy user, bolstered optimism of an economic recovery. Oil rose for the first time in three days as March sales at 31 chain stores gained 9 percent, the largest one month increase since March 1999, the New York based International Council of Shopping Centers said yesterday. U.S. oil refineries raised operating rates to 84.5 percent of capacity last week, a six month high, the Energy Department reported on April 7.

“We saw some fairly encouraging retail sales data in the U.S. and that seemed to buoy market sentiment,” said Toby Hassall, a research analyst at CWA Global Markets Pty in Sydney. “It’s the latest in a string of encouraging macro data.” Crude oil for May delivery rose as much as 44 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $85.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $85.74 at 1:15 p.m. Singapore time. The contract is poised for a 1 percent gain this week, after climbing 6.1 percent last week. Futures have increased 8 percent this year.

Prices declined yesterday amid speculation Greece may default. The euro came within a cent of its weakest against the dollar in 11 months before erasing losses after Greece’s finance ministry said the country’s first-quarter budget deficit narrowed. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said a default is “not an issue.”
Oil surged for six days to April 6, the longest rally in three months, following reports that showed growth in U.S. jobs and service industries.....Read the entire article.

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