May 5 (Bloomberg) — Crude oil was little changed near a
five-month high as pending sales of U.S. existing homes jumped
along with spending on construction projects, signaling energy
demand may improve with the economy.
Oil gained 2.4 percent yesterday as the Standard & Poor’s
500 Index erased its 2009 loss. The National Association of
Realtors’ index of signed purchase agreements climbed for a
second month. Equities markets in China and Australia rose on
optimism the worst of the global recession has passed.
“The market has been surprised to the upside by the data
coming out of the U.S.,” said Ben Westmore, a minerals and
energy economist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Melbourne.
“The strength of late is definitely an indication that markets
are sensing a bottom in the economy.”
|Crude oil also gained as the dollar traded near a one-month
low against the euro. Investors seek purchases of commodities
and oil as a hedge against inflation as the currency declines.