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Prices for crude oil reached a one-year high on Friday, asincreasing industrial production in the United States raised hopesthat the economic recession might be easing.

US Crude oil futures gained for the seventh straight day, andhas increased by 12.9% since October 7, and is now just above US$78a barrel. The move came after a report released by the US FederalReserve indicated a 0.7% rise in factory output.

Brent crude oil was also up, gaining 76 cents to reach$76.99.

Paul Crovo, an oil analyst based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniafor PNC Capital Advisors, said that there were increasing hopesthat the economy would rebound. “There continues to be optimismabout an economic rebound. Prices have been rising on speculationthat this will lead to a tightening of the supply-demand balancegoing forward,” he said.

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