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CRUDE OIL PRICE HITS 17-MONTH HIGH, TOUCHES $84.84

By NBF NEWS

Crude oil price hit a 17-month high on Thursday, touching $84.84 per barrel on signs that global economic growth is accelerating, bolstering optimism that fuel consumption will increase this year.

Oil price increased by as much as 1.7 per cent after reports showed United States, Chinese and European manufacturing expanded, while pessimism decreased among Japan's largest industrial companies.

'The economic news recently has generally been good, which has changed the perception of the oil market,' said managing director of Energy Security Analysis Incorporated, Sarah Emerson, in Wakefield, Massachusetts. 'An economic recovery is always good for demand,'she added.

Bloomberg reported that crude oil for May delivery rose $1.08, or 1.3 per cent, to $84.84 a barrel at the 2:30pm close of floor trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $85.22, the highest level since October 9, 2008.

Gasoline for May delivery increased 1.48 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $2.322 a gallon in New York. The contract reached $2.3329, the highest level since Oct. 2, 2008.

'The perception that the global economy is really picking up is the driving force,' said an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, Gene McGillan, 'We've been range-trading so long, the push up through $84 probably means more action on the upside before the market really finds out if there is fundamental support for this move.'