July 6--Crude oil prices surged yesterday on a better-than-expected U.S. jobs
report and concern about escalating unrest and violence in Egypt.
U.S. crude oil futures hit a 14-month high, climbing more than $1.98 per barrel to close at $103.22, after hitting a peak of $103.32. Brent crude for August delivery, meanwhile, touched a three-month high of $107.88 and settled at $107.72, up $2.18.
Oil has been on a fairly strong, bullish trend over the past two weeks, according to Addison Armstrong, senior director of market research at energy investment advisors Tradition Energy in Stamford, Conn.
"(The) unemployment report was just another in a recent series of good macro-economic data about the U.S. economy, which also helps support the view that demand for oil will increase," Armstrong told the Herald.
The job growth suggests a stronger economy makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will slow its bond purchases, which have kept interest rates low, boosting investments such as stocks and oil.
In Egypt, meanwhile, protests over the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi turned violent.
Those headlines also helped to support the bullish momentum, Armstrong said.
Egypt is not an oil-producer, but its control of the Suez Canal, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, gives it a crucial role in maintaining global energy supplies.
But, Armstrong added, "I don't think professional traders have any expectation of serious disruption of oil from the Middle East because of the potential closure of the Suez Canal."
(c)2013 the Boston Herald
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