Crude prices finish slightly higher as U.S. stocks rise

08:25, March 24, 2010      

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Oil prices managed to finish slightly higher on Tuesday as rising stock prices boosted investor sentiment.

Crude prices below 81 U.S. dollars in the day as the U.S. dollar strengthened against other currencies but ended slightly higher as U.S. stocks refreshed 18-month-highs.

Stocks markets rose after sales of existing homes fell less than expected in February. The report from the National Association of Realtors topped forecasts but raised concerns about the strength of the housing market recovery.

The American Petroleum Institute reported a rise in crude-oil inventory. The industry group said oil stockpiles rose by 7.5 million barrels. Analysts expect a commercial-crude-inventory increase of 1.67 million barrels for the week ended March 19.

Light crude for May delivery gained 31 cents to settle at 81.91 U.S. dollar a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude rose 16 cents to settle at 80.70 dollars on the ICE futures exchange.

Source: Xinhua
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