Anticipation of rising fuel demand propels oil prices to near US$73 in Asia

Benchmark crude for July delivery rose to US$72.6 in Asia in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices were boosted by anticipation of rising fuel demand just prior to release of US weekly crude inventory data. This positive mood has been fuelled by initial inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute indicating further substantial drops in crude stocks last week, indicating a positive growth in fuel demand. The market awaits corroboration of this with more comprehensive data to be released by the Energy Information Administration. Federal Reserve Chairman seems hopeful that USA will not fall back into recession and reports of increased optimism among small businesses in USA that has aided by boosting oil prices. Oil prices could see an uptrend amid concerns that the hurricane season, along with a drilling suspension in the Gulf of Mexico due to the BP oil spill, could disrupt production of oil and natural gas in the Gulf.
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