Monday, March 23, 2009

Oil trades around $54 on stock market rally

Posted by Craig Rozelle

Oil prices briefly topped $54 a barrel Monday, getting a boost from stock investors who seemed hopeful a new plan to resolve America's banking crisis would spur economic growth. Better-than-expected housing news helped too.

AP - An oil tanker unloads its cargo at an oil storage facility in this aerial photo Sunday, March 22, ...

Benchmark crude for May delivery rose $1.73 to settle at $53.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, continuing its upward momentum. Prices climbed as high as $54.05.

On Friday, oil ended the week above $50 a barrel for the first time this year, and prices have risen more than 30 percent this month.

In London, Brent prices rose $2.25 to settle at $53.47 on the ICE Futures exchange.

"Generally, we've had moderately good economic news of late," said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. "That's giving people some optimism that maybe demand will be picking up. If the (new banking) plan is effective, so much the better."

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