Unemployment claims fall in USA: oil prices rise on strengthened hopes of economic recovery

Crude oil prices rose to two week highs past US$85 as weekly unemployment claims fell in USA and raised hopes that the strengthening economic recovery will haul up petroleum demand. Rising by over 2%, light, sweet crude oil for June delivery was at US$85.1 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange - the highest settlement price since April 15. A decision by the US Federal Reserve to keep a key interest rate unchanged helped boost US stocks in late-day trading. Crude prices rose as traders bought crude on the hope that low interest rates would stimulate investment, leading to increased energy demand. Naphtha prices have steadied in Asia. Open spec naphtha for H1-June stood at US$775/MT CFR Japan.
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