Page last updated at 22:04 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 23:04 UK

Oil prices continue rally to $66

Oil worker in Kansas
Oil rose to above $66 a barrel for the first time since November

Oil prices hit a fresh six-month high, buoyed by falling US stockpiles, amid signs the US economy is not shrinking as fast as people thought.

US light crude for July delivery climbed $1.23 to close Friday trading at $66.31 a barrel.

A Commerce Department report on first quarter GDP showed a 5.7% contraction - revised down from an initial 6.1% fall.

On Thursday, the Energy Information Administration said US oil supplies had dropped for the third week in a row.

Also on Thursday, Opec oil ministers decided to keep output unchanged, amid optimism that prices are set to rise. The Saudi oil minister predicted prices will reach $75 this year.

"We've got a lot more optimism about the economic outlook than we did," said Toby Hassall, an analyst with Commodity Warrants Australia in Sydney.

"The market is factoring in a recovery in demand by the end of the year."

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The Independent The new boom: price of oil posts largest rise for a decade - 39 hrs ago
Financial Post Oil rises to a six month high above US$66 - 43 hrs ago Crude Rises To Six-Month High On Improved Demand Hopes, Weaker Dollar - 44 hrs ago
Penn Energy MARKET WATCH: Crude price tops $65/bbl - 44 hrs ago
RTE Online Oil hits 6-month high on economic outlook - 45 hrs ago

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