Crude oil surged more than 4% on Friday as positive economic news improved traders' hopes for economic recovery, which would help struggling energy demand.

Light sweet crude for June settlement climbed to $53.20, up $2.08 on the session. Oil reached as high as $53.65 in afternoon trading, its best level since April 14.

Oil added $2.10 for the week, its second consecutive weekly gain. Crude has been trending higher since a sharp plunge on April 21, adding $5.65 in the stretch.

On the economic front, the University of Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment index rose to 65.1 in April from a previously reported reading of 61.9. The index was unexpected to be unrevised.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of activity in the sector rose to 40.1 in April from 36.3 in March, although a reading below 50 indicates a continued contraction in the sector. Economists had been expecting a more modest increase to a reading of 38.4.

The U.S. Commerce Department said factory orders slipped 0.9 percent for March, reversing some of the previous month's rebound. February saw a revised increase of 0.7 percent after an orders drop of 3.5 percent in January.

The dollar extended its recent gains versus the yen but struggled in quiet trade against its European counterparts Friday. Activity was light, with many markets around the world closed for May Day. Oil and other commodities often move in the opposite direction of the dollar because of the hedge appeal.

Earlier in the week, Energy Information Administration data showed inventories remain at their highest levels in nearly 20 years at 374.7 million barrels. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 4.1 million barrels in the week ended April 24. Economists predicted a more modest build of 1.8 million barrels.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com