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Oil prices back above $73

27 May 2010

Crude oil prices climbed significantly early Thursday (May 27) morning in New York Mercantile electronic trading. After dipping below $70 for a few days thanks to European troubles and the BP oil spill, oil has returned to the $73 level based on speculator expectation for positive US economic news.

While the top kill effort to stave off the continued BP oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico continues, Asian economic data looks solid and the US gross domestic product, though below expectations, still grew by three per cent during the first quarter of 2010.

The price of crude oil for December delivery was at $73.32 in European afternoon and New York morning trade Thursday. This is up $1.81 over Wednesday’s settle of $71.51, which was itself a gain of $2.76.

Analysts had forecast that GDP could rise as much as 3.5 per cent when the number was announced Thursday morning, but the actually growth was slightly below previous forecasts of 3.2 per cent. Still, a three per cent growth is a good indication that the economic recovery is underway in the US.

US Durable goods data was solid as well, which supports the belief that demand for US products has increased.

Another factor affecting the rise in oil prices was word from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, which announced its belief that growth is going to improve in euro-zone countries. The concerns over European economies have been a major factor in the recent slide in oil prices after they reached a 2010 high of $87.15 earlier in the month.

Strong performance in the Asian region may somewhat offset the debt crisis affecting Europe at the moment. Many top analysts believe the European issues are going to be short-lived as far as it affects the price of oil.

Barclays Capital, for instance, said in its recent report that the debt crisis in Europe will soon take a backseat to the reality of growing demand in the global marketplace for oil and gasoline. Thus, upward price pressure is likely.

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