Oil prices rose from three-week lows on speculation of a decline in crude stockpiles in USA and on rising equity prices that buoyed investor sentiment. The report will probably show a decline as refiners increased operating rates for a fifth week to meet summer gasoline demand. With this estimated decline, stockpiles will decline for a second week. Crude oil for May delivery rose by almost a dollar to US$82.3 on the Nymex.
The previous day saw oil prices plunge after the SEC sued Goldman for fraud, causing investors to step away from risky assets such as commodities. Air-traffic disruptions caused by a volcanic eruption under Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull glacier cut jet fuel demand in Europe by about two-thirds, according to Deutsche Bank.