Commodity News – Crude Oil rises before Greek Confidence Vote

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Crude oil prices have been rising since yesterday, advancing on optimism that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will win a confidence vote that will be held later today in the Greek parliament. Greece’s next loan from the troika depends on Papandreou putting through some unpopular austerity measures that will help the indebted nation avoid defaulting on its debt.

Futures climbed as much as 1.6 percent as the euro strengthened against the dollar after European leaders said a Greek default can be avoided. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced for a fourth day, its longest rally in three weeks.

“If the Greeks can pass the confidence vote, the effect on equities and the dollar will provide more support for oil prices in the medium-term,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

The weaker U.S. currency boosted the appeal of commodities as an alternative investment. Since its lowest point of the month yesterday at $91.13, crude oil for July delivery advanced over $3.60 to a high of $94.72 today.

Meanwhile, Brent oil for August delivery increased 20 cents to $111.89 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.