Oil Jumps to Four-Week High

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Equities surged after positive economic reports.

Crude oil jumped to the highest level in four weeks as equities surged after economic reports from China, Japan and Australia indicated that the global recovery is strengthening.

Oil climbed 6.7% in the past three days as Chinese exports surged the most in six years and Japan's economy grew at the fastest rate since the second quarter of 2009 in the three months to March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased as much as 2.5 percent, and the euro rose 1%.

"We're up along with everything else," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch & Associates, a Galena, Illinois, consulting firm. "The stock market's up, and the euro is strong. A 200-point gain in the Dow Jones would indicate that there's an increase in sentiment."

Crude oil for July delivery rose $1.83, or 2.5 percent, to $76.21 a barrel at 10:43 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, prices touched $76.30 a barrel, the highest level since May 13. Futures have increased 6.8 % in the past year.

The Dow average rose 214.56 points, or 2.2%, to 10,113.81, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index increased 2.1 % to 1,078.06.

The euro advanced to $1.2103 against the dollar from $1.1979 yesterday, boosting the appeal of commodities as an alternative investment, after Germany's highest court rejected an attempt to block the nation from granting aid guarantees. The currency fell to a four-year low this week amid concern that Europe's sovereign-debt crisis will spread.

Customs data from China, the world's second-largest energy consumer after the U.S., also showed oil imports grew last month by 4.4 % from a year earlier to 17.84 million metric tons, or about 4.36 million barrels a day, as overall exports gained.

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