Crude prices surged to a new high for the year on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) raised its 2009 oil demand forecast for the first time in ten months.
The Paris-based organization raised the global daily energy demand to 83.3 million barrels in its latest monthly report, still2.9 percent lower than last year but 120,000 barrels higher than its May estimate. It's the first time for the organization to raise its oil demand estimate since August.
Given the recent fall in U.S. crude and fuel stockpiles, more investors began to believe that world energy consumption was going to pick up later this year along with economic recovery.
Adding to crude's advance was data from China, showing the country's oil import in May rose 5.5 percent from a year ago, the second-highest volume on record.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar fell against a basket of currencies on Thursday, helping push oil prices even higher.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery jumped 1.35 dollars, or 1.9 percent, to settle at 72.68 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after touching the height of 73.23 dollars a barrel during the session.
In London, Brent crude for July delivery rose 84 cents to 71.64dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.