Markets: Back to $60

US crude oil prices regained the $60 a barrel level while base metals, agricultural and soft commodities all made gains on hopes for a more rapid recovery in the global economy.

In energy markets, Nymex June West Texas Intermediate hit a high of $60.48 before easing back to trade 75 cents higher at $59.58 a barrel. The June WTI contract was due to expire at the close on Tuesday and the July contract, the US benchmark from Wednesday, rose $71 cents to $60.30 a barrel after reaching a high of $60.99.

Supply disruptions supported prices. An explosion at Sunoco’s Marcus Hook refinery in Pennsylvania disrupted production at the 178,000 barrel-a-day plant.

In Nigeria, militants threatened to block key waterways in the Niger delta as tensions escalated following an upsurge in violence between Nigerian security forces and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

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