Oil Prices Climb


"Today, it seems that the market sentiment has strongly improved."

Oil rose for the first time in five trading sessions Tuesday as stock prices climbed with better economic news, and worries about the economic recovery eased.

Benchmark crude rose $1.07 to $76.31 a barrel on the NYMEX. The contract fell $0.15 to settle at $75.24 a barrel Monday.

Lower crude oil prices and soft demand are keeping gas prices in check. "Early August is supposed to be a period of heavy gasoline demand, but the nation's youngest drivers have fewer part-time jobs than has been the case in a number of years," U.S. energy consultants Cameron Hanover said. "The large number of would-be workers without jobs means that fewer people are driving to work."

Oil prices rose with stocks after the government reported that wholesale prices increased last month for the first time since March, and industrial production in July rose more than economists expected. Oil and stock prices have moved nearly in tandem in recent weeks as commodities investors look to the stock market for signs of where the economy is headed.

"Today, it seems that the market sentiment has strongly improved," said a report from Sucden Research in London. "However, trading conditions are likely to remain quite volatile and nervous in the energy market, as uncertainty remains on the table."

"Investors are unlikely to be jumping back into oil with both feet any time soon," Cameron Hanover noted. "At this stage, they seem to be holding on, waiting for someone else to bid prices higher."

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