| GEO Business|
| Crude gains for second consecutive week|
| Updated at: 1840 PST, Saturday, July 25, 2009|
NEW YORK: Oil prices ended above 68 U.S. dollars a barrel on Friday and gained for the second straight week as investors felt more confident about the global economy.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose 89 cents to settle at 68.05 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest close since July 1. The contract has gained more than 13 percent in the last two weeks, boosted by an upbeat sentiment in the market.
As many major U.S. companies reported better-than-expected quarterly results, more and more investors believed the recession had bottomed out and expected an economy recovery by the end of this year or early next year, which will trigger a rebound in energy demand.
Meanwhile the dollar kept falling against the euro in the last two weeks, encouraging demand for dollar-priced assets such as oil to hedge against inflation.
In London, Brent crude for September delivery rose 1.07 dollars to settle at 70.32 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.