Oil rises for a third day on U.S. Economy
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 4 / Trend /
Oil climbed for a third day in New York, trading at a 30-month high, as signs of economic recovery in the U.S. boosted speculation fuel demand will increase in the world's largest crude user, Bloomberg reported.
Futures advanced as much as 0.7 percent today after an April 1 government report showed the U.S. added more jobs than economists forecast last month. Prices advanced 2.4 percent last week as fighting in Libya threatened to prolong supply cuts in Africa's third largest producer.
"The U.S. data paints a positive picture," Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking Services Pty in Sydney, said by telephone to Bloomberg today. "People are still concerned about Libya, but not overly. If Qaddafi decides to call it a day, then there will be a short, sharp sell-off."
Crude for May delivery gained as much as 80 cents to $108.74 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since Sept. 24, 2008, and was at $108.30 at 11:56 a.m. Singapore time. Prices are up 25 percent from a year earlier.
Brent oil for May settlement rose 14 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $118.84 a barrel, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract climbed $3.11, or 2.7 percent last week.
The European benchmark traded at a premium of $10.59 a barrel over U.S.-traded West Texas Intermediate futures. The difference between front-month contracts in London and New York surged to a record $19.54 on Feb. 21 as unrest spread in the Middle East and North Africa, and stockpiles climbed at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI. The gap averaged 76 cents last year.
Oil in New York has climbed 28 percent since anti- government protests began Feb. 15 in Libya, cutting output by two-thirds. The conflict is the bloodiest in uprisings that have toppled the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt and spread to Bahrain, Iran, Yemen and Oman.