Crude oil prices continued to gain and closed above 49 U.S. dollars a barrel on Tuesday on the rally in the stocks market.
A worker fills gas for a car at a gas station in New York, capital of the United States, on March 17, 2009. U.S. light crude for April delivery settled up $1.81 at $49.16 on the expiration day for April crude oil options, the highest settle since Dec. 1, 2008. (Xinhua/Liu Xin)
Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 1.81 dollars to settle at 49.16 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, which is the highest closing price in more than three months.
Crude futures obtained support from the U.S. stocks market which surged on positive economic data. The U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday that new home construction jumped 22.2 percent from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 583,000 units in February. Applications for building permits also rose in February by 3 percent to an annual rate of 547,000. Economists were expecting both readings to drop.
A worker fills gas for a car at a gas station in New York, capital of the United States, on March 17, 2009.(Xinhua/Liu Xin)
Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department said wholesale prices edged up 0.1 percent in February with a 1.3 percent increase in energy prices. Gasoline prices jumped 8.7 percent in February, which boosted investors' confidence that the outlook of the energy demand will possibly revive with the coming of driving season.
In London, Brent crude for May delivery gained 1.78 dollars to settle at 48.24 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.
(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2009)