Friday, June 5, 2009
Oil prices are spiking above $70 per barrel for the first time since October.
Prices jumped after a U.S. Labor Department report Friday that showed the pace of layoffs eased in May. The unemployment rate, at 9.4 percent, is still the highest in over 25 years.
Benchmark crude for July delivery hit $70.32 per barrel, the highest since October.
Crude's stellar rise — it now fetches roughly twice what it did only four months ago — is leading analysts to revise forecasts upward, with many now saying they expect a barrel to cost $80 or more by year's end.
Crude prices have been boosted by expectations that the U.S. economy could be stabilizing and as some investors scoop up oil and other commodities as a hedge against a weak dollar.