Oil rises above $79 as stocks extend rally


Oil rises above $79 in Asia as strong US corporate earnings boost investor optimism

, Associated Press Writer, On Monday July 26, 2010, 1:12 am EDT


SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices rose above $79 a barrel Monday in Asia as regional stock markets extended a rally from last week amid improving investor optimism.


Benchmark crude for September delivery was up 30 cents at $79.28 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 32 cents to settle at $78.98 on Friday.


Most Asian stock markets rose Monday, taking heart from a 3-percent rally in the Dow Jones industrial average over the final two trading sessions of last week. Oil traders often look to equities as a guidepost of overall investor sentiment.


The Dow rose to a one-month high Friday after most companies reported impressive results during the first two weeks of second-quarter corporate earnings season. Investors will be eyeing results this week from insurer Aetna, drug company Merck and Southwest Airlines along with data on housing, employment and consumer demand.


Bonnie, which was a tropical storm Friday, petered out when it reached the Gulf of Mexico and didn’t damage any of the region’s oil installations. However, the threat of Bonnie caused companies to evacuate offshore rig workers and temporarily shut down some crude production.


In other Nymex trading in August contracts, heating oil rose 0.95 cent to $2.0600 a gallon, gasoline gained 0.18 cent to $2.1240 a gallon and natural gas fell 3.2 cents to $4.548 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Brent crude was up 30 cents to $77.75 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.




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