Oil rises to 6-month high as traders eye OPEC meet

May 27, 2009 11:46

Oil prices rose to six-month highs Wednesday in Asia as an increase in US consumer confidence fueled optimism that the world's largest consumer of oil is emerging from a severe recession. Traders were also watching an OPEC meeting in Vienna amid expectations the oil cartel isn't likely to cut production. Benchmark crude for July delivery was up 76 cents to $63.21 a barrel by late afternoon in Singapore in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, the contract rose 78 cents to settle at $62.45. Oil prices have jumped from below $35 a barrel in March on investor expectations that the worst of the global economic slowdown is over. Oil and stock investors took heart from Tuesday's report from private research group The Conference Board that showed US consumer confidence in May soared to the highest level since last September. Stock indexes jumpe on the news, with the Dow Jones industrial average gaining 2.4 percent.

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