Crude oil rebounded and climbed above $50 a barrel on Thursday as investors bet energy demand will improve and confidence in the struggling economy starts to build.
Light sweet crude for May delivery rallied to $51.91 per barrel, up $3.52 for the session. Prices touched as high as $52.06 in the opening hour of trading.
Commodities and the dollar are rallying in anticipation of additional stimulus measures likely to be discussed at the G20 meeting today in London. U.S. stocks rallied in the opening minutes of trading, reflecting some optimism about the outlook for the economy. Markets in Europe and Asia also rallied.
Elsewhere on the economic front, Labor Department report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 669,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 657,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 650,000 from the 652,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Crude oil prices dropped $1.27 on Wednesday as Energy Information Administration data revealed a build in both crude oil and gasoline stockpiles.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased 2.8 million barrels from the previous week. Experts were looking for a build of about 3 million barrels. Total motor gasoline inventories increased 2.2 million barrels last week. A drop of about 1.5 million barrels was expected.
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