Optimism about the US economy has increased the price of oil produced by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), pushing it up by nearly $2 to $56.05 a barrel, the group announced Friday.
One barrel (158 litres) of OPEC crude oil rose by $1.96 Thursday, the Vienna-based group announced Friday, after having reached a six-month high already at mid-week.
"It's mainly the optimism," said Eugen Weinberg, chief commodity analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. US petrol stocks were lower and there was an expectation that consumers would start to buy more fuel, he said.
Another factor was this week's news that US job losses had slowed down in April, as well as a review of the country's banks which showed that capital shortages were lower than expected.
In addition, there were tentative signs that economic activity in India and China was accelerating, Vienna-based analysts JBC Energy said.
OPEC calculates an average price based on 12 brands produced by its member states.