Singapore: Oil rose above $57 a barrel on Friday, remaining near a six-month high, lifted by hopes of an econonomic recovery that could boost falling world oil demand.
European shares moved higher as financial stocks advanced after the results of stress tests on US banks showed no nasty surprises, following gains in Asia and on Wall Street in after-hours trade. “People got optimistic (after the test results) because it wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be,” said Tony Nunan, risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo.
“But we are not out of the woods yet. The economy has yet to recover and there could still be another dip in prices.”
US crude rose 57 cents to $57.28 a barrel by 2:00pm, after settling at $56.71 on Thursday, the highest settlement since 14 November. Brent crude gained 75 cents to $57.22.
Oil has gained more than 70% since hitting a low of $33.55 in February, rallying with equity markets on hopes of economic recovery and due to lower supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
US retailers posted better-than-expected monthly sales results for a second straight month in April, giving fresh evidence that consumer spending is warming up with the spring weather.
Investors were looking ahead to US employment data that may offer further hope the slump is bottoming out. The data is due out at 6:00pm.
Economists polled by Reuters are expecting that 590,000 jobs were lost in the United States in April compared with a loss of 663,000 in the previous month.