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Oil rebounds over 5 percent on renewed economic optimism
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08:24, July 31, 2009

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Oil prices rebounded over 5 percent in volatile trading on Thursday as strong economic data renewed investors optimism on recovery.

Light, sweet crude for September delivery surged 3.57 U.S. dollars, or 5.6 percent, to settle at 66.92 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, almost reversing its 5.8 percent plunge in the previous session.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people remaining on the jobless benefit rolls unexpectedly fell to the lowest level since mid-April, while the four-week moving average for new claims also dropped to its lowest in six months.

Oil followed closely the performance of the stock market. Wall Street rallied and headed to its yearly high in afternoon trading when the oil market closed.

Meanwhile, dollar fell against euro and a basket of major currencies, which also helped push up commodities prices including crude futures.

London Brent for September delivery rose 3.51 dollars to 70.04 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.


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