Oil prices rose to near $ 71 a barrel on Monday in Asia as recovering stock markets bolstered the confidence of crude traders.
Benchmark crude for July delivery was up 69 cents to $ 70.73 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 76 cents to settle at $ 70.04 on Friday.
Higher stock prices in most Asian markets on Monday helped buoy oil since traders look to equities as a barometer of global investor confidence. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.3 percent Friday.
Crude has fallen about 20 per cent this month as investor concern about Europe’s debt crisis hammered global stocks and the euro. Oil is up from as low as $ 64.24 a barrel last week as the euro steadied.
In other Nymex trading in June contracts, heating oil rose 1.04 cent to $ 1.907 a gallon, and gasoline gained 1.39 cent to $ 1.975 a gallon. Natural gas slid 3.5 cents to $ 4 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In London, the Brent crude July contact was up 31 cents to $ 71.99 on the ICE futures exchange.