Related News

Home » Business » Energy

Oil prices near US$73

OIL prices hit an eight-month high as the dollar fell and a series of reports suggested that consumers and business may be more willing and able to spend money on energy.

Benchmark crude for July delivery rose US$1.35 to settle at US$72.68 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices hit US$73.23 at one point.

In London, Brent prices added 99 cents to settle at US$71.79 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Crude prices rose sharply in the morning after the federal government announced a drop in first-time jobless claims last week. Another report said retail sales grew in May for the first time in three months, in part because of spiking gasoline prices.

Prices at the pump began to rise quickly in May and have not stopped, hitting levels not seen since October on Thursday.

In the summer of 2008, crude prices neared US$150 per barrel before prices crashed. Crude traded below US$33 per barrel before the year was over.

On Thursday, the International Energy Agency in Paris said that the slump in global oil demand in 2009 would be slightly less severe than previously expected, however. The organization revised its demand estimate upward for the first time in 10 months.

The IEA said in its monthly survey that global oil demand would fall by 2.9 percent to 83.3 million barrels a day this year. In today's enviromment, even that is seen as good news. In May, the IEA was expecting a 3 percent annual fall in demand, the sharpest rate of decline since 1981.

Oil markets have surged largely because of investor fears that massive fiscal stimulus spending could weaken the U.S. currency.

The euro climbed to US$1.4089 on Thursday from 1.3990 the previous day. Commodities can be used as a hedge against a falling dollar.

In other Nymex trading, gasoline for July delivery rose 4.96 cents to settle at US$2.0649 a gallon, and heating oil added 2.08 cents to settle at US$1.8534 a gallon. Natural gas for July delivery rose 22.5 cents to settle at US$3.933 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend