Oil hovers near $87 in Asia on economic hopes
KUALA LUMPUR: Oil prices hovered near $87 a barrel Thursday in Asia after a sharp rally the day before that was powered by strong economic data from the U.S. and China.
Benchmark oil for January delivery was down 3 cents to $86.72 a barrel at late afternoon Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract surged $2.64 percent, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $86.75 on Wednesday.
Improved manufacturing activity in the U.S. and China, job gains among small U.S. businesses and higher U. S. work force productivity revived confidence in the global economic recovery, giving a lift to oil.
"We are maintaining a bullish trading posture in anticipation of a further crude price advance to the $90 area.
But, at the same time, additional price advances could prove erratic and one more dip toward the $85 area could be forthcoming before this market is ready to make another run," Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report.
Oil has been trading between $81 and a two-year high of just above $88 a barrel in the past month. -Ap