26 února 2009

26/2 Crude oil trades near highest in a month...

Crude oil traded little changed in New York near the highest in a month after U.S. gasoline supplies fell as lower fuel prices led to increased demand.

Gasoline stockpiles declined 3.32 million barrels to 215.3 million barrels last week, the Energy Department said yesterday.

Consumption averaged 9 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, up 1.7 percent from a year earlier, as pump prices fell.

“The U.S. oil market is starting to ride on a short-term upward trend as factories begin gradually increasing their operations after massive reductions,” said Masaki Suematsu, an oil analyst at Newedge Group in Tokyo. “Oil may try and reach the $50 mark in the weeks ahead.”

Crude oil for April delivery was at $42.57 a barrel, up 7 cents, at 2:43 p.m. Singapore time on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Yesterday, the contract rose $2.54, or 6.4 percent, to $42.50 a barrel, the highest settlement since Jan. 26. Prices have fallen 58 percent in the past 12 months.

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