The price of oil rose to near $95 on Friday as traders awaited a speech by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke for clues on whether the central bank will deliver more help for the struggling U.S. economy.
By midday in Europe, benchmark crude for October delivery was up 31 cents to $94.93 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, the Nymex contract fell 87 cents to close at $94.62.
In London, Brent oil was up 47 cents to $113.12 on the ICE Futures exchange.
Investors will be listening to Bernanke's speech at an economic conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later Friday for hints of additional steps to spur borrowing and spending in the U.S.
They are also anticipating the release of manufacturing data out of China this weekend. Worse-than-expected numbers could put pressure on Beijing for more stimulus measures to help revive growth in the world's No. 2 economy.
In other Nymex energy futures trading, heating oil advanced 1.31 cents to $3.138 a gallon, while wholesale gasoline added 1.55 cents to $2.9235 a gallon. Natural gas rose less than 0.08 cent to $2.756 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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