How much more until this acts as a brake on the economy? And if it’s at $86 now, where will it trade when the economy is going full blast again?
By ALEX KENNEDY, Associated Press Writer
SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices jumped to near $86 a barrel Monday in Asia, extending gains from last week as investors bet an improving U.S. job market will herald growing crude demand.
Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 80 cents to $85.67 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract climbed up $1.11 to settle at $84.87 on Thursday following a gain of $1.39 on Wednesday.
Global oil trading was closed for the Good Friday holiday.
Crude has jumped from $69 a barrel in early February on expectations a growing U.S. economy will eventually spark higher oil consumption.
On Friday, the U.S. labour Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the largest job gain in three years. The unemployment rate stayed at 9.7 per cent for the third straight month.
“The market was positive before but now it’s been confirmed,” said Clarence Chu, a trader with market maker Hudson Capital Energy in Singapore. “If the job growth can be sustained for several months, we’ll definitely see crude demand pick up.”
In other Nymex trading in May contracts, heating oil rose 2.09 cents to $2.2376 a gallon, and gasoline gained 2.10 cent to $2.3442 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 1.5 cents to $4.101 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In London, Brent crude was up 71 cents at $84.72 on the ICE futures exchange.
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