Crude Futures Jump above $53 Per Barrel
Crude oil prices ended above 53 dollars a barrel Wednesday after a US government report showed a drop in heating fuel stockpiles.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil futures for April delivery rose 1.37 dollars to end at 53.05 dollars per barrel. On London's International Petroleum Exchange, the April Brent crude oil futures contract climbed 1.11 dollars to settle at 51.22 dollars a barrel.
On Wednesday, a US government report showed that inventories of distillate fuel, a category that include heating oil and diesel, fell 1.7 million barrels to 110 million. Analysts had expected a 1.2-million-barrel decline.
While crude oil supply grew, analysts said, concerns about a tight supply and demand balance in the global oil market continued to support high prices.
The entrance of hedge funds also gave an upward pressure on prices. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said speculators, including investment funds, last week had their biggest bet on higher oil prices in eight months.
(Xinhua Mar. 2005)