| GEO Business|
| Oil prices surge to 10-month high|
| Updated at: 0224 PST, Tuesday, August 25, 2009|
NEW YORK: Oil prices powered to 10-month peaks Monday amid growing hopes for global economic recovery and China's strong oil data.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for October delivery, settled at 74.37 dollars a barrel, up 48 cents from Friday's close in the fifth consecutive session of gains.
The New York benchmark contract had climbed as high as 74.81 dollars in intraday trade, reaching its highest level since October 20.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for October climbed seven cents to close at 74.19 dollars.
"Optimism regarding the pace of economic recovery continues to permeate market sentiment," said Kevin Norrish of Barclays Capital.
Markets have found a springboard in US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke's positive comments Friday about the outlook for recovery from global recession.
Bernanke, at an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, said Friday that "prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good."
Bernanke's remarks sparked a Wall Street rally Friday that extended in Asia and Europe Monday. A positive opening on Wall Street faded amid selling pressure.
The oil market was outperforming considering the dollar was higher and US stocks were fairly flat, said Ellis Eckland, an independent trader.