Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oil Prices Spike upwards by $3.26 - that's a lot

Oil is up despite signs that U.S. crude supplies are rising.
clipped from
Oil trades above $51 as stock rallies boost hopes
Benchmark crude for April delivery surged $3.26 to $51.40 a barrel by midday in Europe on the New York Mercantile Exchange, trading at levels last seen in December, when oil was falling from stellar prices near $150 a barrel.

Prices hit $51.65 in earlier trading -- the highest since Dec. 1 when crude fetched $54.24, then began its plunge to $32.40 in midday trading three weeks later.

"There is still plenty of uncertainty about the U.S. economy," said Gerard Burg, minerals and energy economist with National Australia Bank in Melbourne. "Demand remains broadly weak. It's likely we'll see a pull back."

"We've seen a steady increase in U.S. oil inventories for the last six months," Burg said. "There's very little on the supply side to indicate a push higher in prices."

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