BANGKOK (AP) — Oil prices rose for a fifth day ahead of a meeting Monday between the U.S. Treasury Secretary and top European finance officials as expectations remain elevated for ECB action to prevent Spain's financial woes from deepening.
Benchmark crude for September delivery was up 30 cents at $90.43 a barrel at midafternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 74 cents on Friday to finish at $90.13 per barrel in New York.
Brent crude was down 9 cents at $106.38 on the ICE futures exchange in London.
Oil has climbed after last week's vow from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi to do whatever it takes to keep the euro common currency intact. Similar remarks from the leaders of France and Germany have created a chorus of support for the beleaguered euro, which was facing a new challenge to its existence as a surge in Spain's borrowing costs raised the prospect that one of Europe's biggest economies could ask for a bailout.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets Monday with Draghi and Germany's finance minister to discuss the huge challenges facing Europe and the global economy. They are expected to issue a statement after their meeting which comes amid high expectations that both the ECB and the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon announce new steps to salvage economic growth.
China, meanwhile, has been stepping up efforts to counter its slowdown, allowing cities to announce big infrastructure spending plans that would boost construction and also have the side effect of increasing demand for oil and other fuels.
In other energy trading, gasoline was up 1.3 cents at $2.809 a gallon and heating oil was almost unchanged at $2.89 a gallon. Natural gas rose 5.5 cents to $3.07 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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