Oil Price Rises as US Economy Seen Strengthening
From US News
By Pablo Gorondi
Oil prices moved up slightly closer to $91 a barrel on Thursday as reports of a moderately improving U.S. economy, which suggests increased fuel consumption, outweighed a big rise in crude supplies.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for April delivery was up 37 cents to $90.80 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 39 cents to close at $90.43 per barrel on the Nymex on Wednesday.
A report from the U.S. Federal Reserve issued Wednesday showed the country’s economy strengthened across much of the country. The Fed’s Beige Book report showed that auto sales, more hiring and the ongoing housing recovery helped the U.S. economy grow in the first two months of the year.
Also Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. oil supplies grew last week by 3.8 million barrels, or 0.4 percent, more than three times the increase that analysts expected. The nation’s supply of crude is at its highest level in over 30 years and 10.3 percent above year-ago levels. And at more than 7 million barrels a day, U.S. oil production is at the highest level since the late 1990s.
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