Crude Oil Rises as Governments May Take Steps to Revive Growth

12:30, 21 November 2008
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Crude oil rose...

Crude oil rose from near the lowest level since May 2005 on speculation governments will step up efforts to revive economic growth, accoding to Bloomberg.

Asian stock markets gained for the first time in five days as the Bank of Japan said it will consider pumping more money into the financial system to prop up an economy that fell into a recession last quarter. The European Commission will announce a fiscal-stimulus plan next week, President Jose Barroso told reporters in Brussels yesterday.

``At this point for the oil futures market the only real obvious signals are coming from the equities market,`` said Victor Shum, senior principal at Purvin & Gertz Inc. in Singapore. ``Equity market movements are a proxy for economic fundamentals.``

Crude oil for January delivery rose as much as 80 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $50.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $50.10 at 3:06 p.m. in Singapore. The contract earlier fell as much as $1.17, or 2.4 percent, to $48.25 a barrel. Futures have dropped 67 percent since reaching a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11.

Oil for December delivery declined $4.68, or 8.7 percent, yesterday to expire at $49.42 a barrel.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 1.8 percent to 76.54 at 2:23 p.m. in Tokyo, erasing a 2.3 percent retreat earlier.

Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa has instructed his staff to study new ways of making money available for lending, such as accepting corporate debt as collateral, the central bank said in a statement in Tokyo today.

German officials have put the size of the European economic stimulus package at 130 billion euros ($162.5 billion), a figure that European Commission President Barroso refused to confirm yesterday.

Barroso was scheduled to discuss the stimulus proposal yesterday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose government currently holds the rotating EU presidency. The plan is to be approved by the commission on Nov. 26 and put before European leaders at a December summit in Brussels.

Brent crude oil for January settlement rose as much as $1.08, or 2.3 percent, to $49.16 a barrel on London`s ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract earlier fell as much as 68 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $47.40 a barrel. Yesterday the contract dropped $3.64, or 7 percent, to $48.08, the lowest settlement since May 20, 2005.

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