Oil Rises

Crude oil rose, capping its biggest monthly gain since May, as equities increased and a weaker dollar enhanced the appeal of commodities.
TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg 3/31/2009 1:49:34 PM

Oil climbed 2.6 percent after U.S. and European stocks rebounded, extending the biggest monthly rally for global equities since 2002, as banks surged. Energy, metals and grain prices advanced as the U.S. currency’s drop made dollar- denominated goods more attractive to buyers.

Crude oil for May delivery rose $1.25 to settle at $49.66 a barrel at 2:47 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil gained 11 percent this quarter after tumbling 56 percent in the previous three months. This month’s 11 percent increase was the biggest since a 12 percent jump last May.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles surged 3.3 million barrels to 356.6 million barrels in the week ended March 20, the highest since July 1993 and 13 percent more than average for this time of year, according to an Energy Department report on March 25.

Supplies probably rose 3 million barrels last week, according to the median of 11 analyst responses in a Bloomberg News survey. The department is scheduled to release its weekly update tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in Washington.

The report will show that stockpiles of gasoline and distillate fuel, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, declined in the week ended March 27, according to the survey.