Singapore: Oil prices rose above USD 67 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as investors looked for clues on the strength of the global economic recovery.
Benchmark crude for September delivery was up 64 cents to USD 67.39 a barrel by late afternoon in Singapore in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the contract fell 76 cents to settle at USD 66.75.
Crude prices have reversed direction after dropping from above USD 71 a barrel Friday on investor concerns that recovery from recession may be slow because of weak US consumer demand.
Meanwhile, Germany, France and Japan reported in the last week they emerged from recession in the second quarter.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2 percent Monday and major Asian indexes dropped in early trading Tuesday.
"I think the market was too optimistic about the recovery," said Clarence Chu, a trader with market maker Hudson Capital Energy in Singapore. "It's not a strong rebound yet."
Investors will be watching if the first hurricane of the year threatens oil installations in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Bill was a Category 2 storm with winds of 100 mph (160 kph) and will likely be near Bermuda by the end of the week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
"This year is supposed to be a quiet hurricane season, but it only takes one bad one to really drive the market up," Chu said.
In other Nymex trading, gasoline for September delivery was steady at USD 1.95 a gallon and heating oil held at USD 1.83. Natural gas for September delivery rose 4.9 cents to USD 3.21 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In London, Brent prices rose 45 cents to USD 70.99 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
First Published: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 14:13