Oil Prices Climb on Economic Data


"Despite Monday's selloff, oil prices still seem to want to advance."

Oil prices rose above $82 a barrel Tuesday as the stock market rebounded from Monday's losses on brighter economic news.

Benchmark oil for November delivery gained $1.16 at $82.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 11 cents to settle at $81.47 on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up about 160 points in midday trading. The NASDAQ and the S&P 500 were higher as well. Stocks took off after the Institute for Supply Management said that the U.S. services industry grew last month. Stocks worldwide got a boost as Japan's central bank cut interest rates to near zero to boost that country's economy. Improving economies generally lead to stronger demand for oil and gas.

Gas pump prices rose again across the U.S., a result of oil prices climbing more than $6 a barrel since last Wednesday. The average price for a gallon of regular is $2.732, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. That's about 2.5 cents higher than Monday and 27 cents above a year ago.

The state of oil inventories could also determine whether prices continue to rise in the short term or level off. The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration releases the weekly supplies report on Wednesday. Analysts expect crude inventories to shrink by 1.3 million barrels, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

"A bullish set of statistics promises to generate more interest than a bearish set of numbers," Cameron Hanover said. "Despite Monday's selloff, oil prices still seem to want to advance."

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