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NYMEX crude opens 94 cents higher in broad-based commodity rally


May crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange opened 94 cents
higher at $60.55/barrel Thursday, part of a broad-based rally across the
commodity sector.

A weak US dollar in the wake of the sixth consecutive decision by the US
Federal Reserve Bank to leave the key inter-bank lending rate unchanged at
5.25%, removal of some of the hawkish language in its statement and the
subsequent 100 point-plus rally in the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a
bullish tone. The energy sector was also bolstered by a bullish set of weekly
US oil data from the Energy Information Administration Wednesday.

"While further gains in the various stock markets could potentially pull
crude values higher for a few days, we would look for an eventual disconnect
given our view that short term swings in the equities are a poor leading
indicator of petroleum demand" energy consultant Jim Ritterbusch said in a
report. "While we would not be surprised to see additional gains in the crude,
we would view yesterday’s gasoline stock draw of more than 3.5 million barrels
as a more important driver behind such strength"

April RBOB opened 26 points higher at $1.9375/gal and April heating oil
opened 1.84 cents higher at $1.6830/gal.


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