Oil edges up amid volatile trading

08:37, March 09, 2010      

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Oil prices edged up after a choppy session on Monday as investor optimism as well as a weaker dollar weighed on the market.

Crude futures moved between 80.75 and 82.41 U.S. dollars on Monday before settling just below 82 dollars a barrel in New York trading.

What supported the energy commodities was the optimism about economic recovery. Last Friday the U.S. Labor Department said U.S. employers cut a fewer-than-expected 36,000 jobs in February, leaving the unemployment rate steady at 9.7 percent, while economists had expected it to rise to 9.8 percent. Stocks and commodities gained momentum after the report.

Meanwhile, the euro firmed against the dollar on Monday as the European debt concerns eased. Usually a falling greenback boosts appeal of crude commodities as an alternative investment.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery gained 37 cents to settle at 81.87 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude for April settlement rose 50 cents to 80. 39 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

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