Crude prices rise on investor search for risk
Crude oil prices were higher Monday, but were off session highs by early afternoon trade, with gains coming as investors searched for more risky investments as equities markets improved on new data that made it look as if recovery from the recession is proceeding in a satisfactory manner.
The European Union’s office of statistics reported that Eurozone factory output was up 0.8 percent in April from March, and that it had soared 9.5 percent above levels in April 2009.
July contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were 62 cents higher to $74.40 per barrel by around 1:15 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude was last reported up 36 cents to $74.41 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
Nymex July gasoline futures were 4 cents higher in afternoon trade to $2.09 per gallon, while July heating oil futures had also added 4 cents, to $2.04 per gallon, and July natural gas was up 14 cents to $4.92 per million British thermal units.
The retail price for regular unleaded gasoline fell 0.3 cent overnight to $2.698 per gallon on average in the United States, but some analyst speculation predicted a rise in prices in July, mostly on concerns that a more active hurricane season this year could impact production in the Gulf of Mexico and along the US Gulf Coast.
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