Crude oil settles above US50 a barrel for first time since July

TORONTO — The price of oil has settled above US$50 a barrel for the first time in nearly a year.The July benchmark contract for West Texas Intermediate crude closed Tuesday at US$50.36, an increase of 67 cents from the previous day.That’s the first time oil has settled above the US$50 mark since last July.TSX extends 9-month high as energy stocks rise with oilMore investors are putting money in the oilpatch as oil and gas equity financings spike in first quarter“$50 is a big psychological hurdle for crude oil, and it’s one that it’s been bumping up against for a couple of weeks now,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Canada.“To see it break through is very encouraging and suggests that there is enough support to keep carrying crude oil higher.”In February, oil settled as low as US$26.21 a barrel.“It’s a pretty spectacular move in a fairly relatively short period of time,” Cieszynski said.Canada’s economy has been hit hard by a rapid and deep decline in global oil prices that began in late 2014.Crude prices have gradually risen in recent weeks due to several factors, including the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alta., which at one point may have taken out as much as half of Canada’s total oilsands production, according to some estimates. Those operations have gradually started to come back online.Militant attacks on pipeline infrastructure in Nigeria have also caused supply disruptions in the oil-producing country. read more

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