Oil hovers around US$44 at end of week holds, despite bleak news from US businesses

Benchmark crude for April delivery ended the week at US$43.74 a barrel by midday in Singapore on the Nymex, despite news of bleak corporate performance, mainly due to investor optimism that falling US gasoline could result in an increase in demand for crude oil. Currently, a gallon of gasoline in USA is US$1.245 cheaper than last year. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 4.1% to a fresh 12 year low on concern General Motors Corp. may face bankruptcy and worries about Citigroup and other big banks.
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