Oil prices extend rally
Oil prices struck eight-month highs this week on higher demand for commodities as the global economy makes progress in pulling free of recession.
OIL: New York crude hit 73.23 dollars on Thursday -- the highest level since last October -- while London Brent oil surged to a similar pinnacle at 72.27 dollars a barrel.
The peaks were hit after the International Energy Agency (IEA) raised projections for world oil demand by 120,000 barrels a day to 83.3 million in 2009, up from its 83.18 million forecast in May.
"Crude oil rose above 73 dollars following an upward revision in global oil demand by the IEA in their monthly report and following some positive US data which boosted sentiment," said Sucden analyst Nimit Khamar.
"US data showed a better than expected rise in retail sales and a slowdown in initial jobless claims, which continued to fuel the appearance of an economic recovery."
There was also upbeat news from China, which is the second-biggest energy consuming nation after the United States.