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Oil rises to 5-week high near $54
 admin May 3, 2010, 03:14:56 AM 

NEW YORK: Oil prices rose to a five-week high near $54 a barrel Monday on hopes an easing of the global economic recession would pave the way for a recovery in world energy demand. US crude futures rose 52 cents to $53.72 a barrel by 1430 GMT after rising as high as $53.94 — the highest since late March. London Brent rose $1.00 to $53.85. Oil’s gains were encouraged by stronger equities markets and positive economic surveys in big fuel consumer nations China and India, showing their manufacturing sectors grew in April for the first time in months. “We started to look at the green shoots in the United States and now we’re starting to look at what I like to call the bamboo shoots,” said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix. “As long as these keep investors hoping economic growth is not that far away, the price should be relatively well supported.” Weakness in the US dollar against the euro also supported greenback-denominated commodities markets Monday. Oil prices have bounced back from five-year lows just above $30 this winter on evidence the economic crisis is easing and as OPEC slashes output to trim excess supply. Oil also gained on Friday, spurred by improved US consumer confidence as well as a Reuters survey that showed OPEC had delivered around 84 percent of promised curbs of 4.2 million barrels per day since September, around its highest-ever level of output discipline. OPEC efforts to support the price have been in part offset by the impact of high inventories on land and large amounts of floating storage as traders have made use of a bearish market structure to stockpile oil. reuters

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