Oil rose to near US$105 a barrel Tuesday on expectations for rising demand as the global economy strengthens.
Benchmark U.S. oil for July delivery was up 37 cents to $104.78 a barrel at 3:50 a.m. ET in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It soared $1.75 to close at $104.41 on Monday and is now at its highest since early April.
Recent economic indicators that suggest stronger global growth include Japan raising its January-March GDP number, a fourth month of solid hiring in the U.S. and China's export growth accelerating in May.
Adding to upward pressure on oil prices are talks on the Ukraine crisis, which started Sunday in Kyiv between Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The talks were expected to continue daily, but there is no sign so far of an immediate resolution.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, inched up 1 cent to $109.16 a barrel in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
_ Wholesale gasoline rose 0.4 cent to $2.988 a gallon.
_ Natural gas fell 0.2 cent to $2.893 per 1,000 cubic feet.
_ Heating oil added 0.2 cent to $2.893 a gallon.