Oil rises above $85 in Asia as European countries offer massive bailout loan to Greece

By Alex Kennedy, AP
Monday, April 12, 2010

Oil rises to $85 as Europe offers Greece bailout

SINGAPORE — Oil prices rose above $85 a barrel Monday in Asia after European countries offered a massive loan to debt-ridden Greece.

Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 35 cents to $85.27 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 47 cents to settle at $84.92 on Friday.

The finance ministers of the 15 eurozone nations agreed Sunday to offer euro 30 billion ($40 billion) in loans to Greece this year if Athens asks for the money.

The promise — filling in details of a March 25 pledge of joint eurozone-IMF help — was another attempt to calm markets that have been selling off Greek bonds.

Oil was down the previous three days on investor concern that slowly recovering U.S. crude demand doesn’t justify further gains. Crude jumped 25 percent to above $87 last week from $69 in early February.

“If oil markets continue to take cues from supply and demand — in preference to the dollar, equities or economic data — we cannot paint a picture that includes higher prices,” Cameron Hanover said in a report.

In other Nymex trading in May contracts, heating oil added 1.02 cents to $2.2362 a gallon, and gasoline gained 0.71 cents to $2.2964 a gallon. Natural gas was steady at $4.062 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude was up 55 cents at $85.38 on the ICE futures exchange.

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