Oil prices rose in New York, following two consecutive daily drops, as most Asian stocks increased after economist Paul Krugman said that the US recession may end in 2009, indicating increased energy demand.

Crude oil for July 2009 delivery rose as much as $0.81, or 1.2%, to $68.90 and was traded at $68.63 on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11.50am in Sydney.

On 8 June 2009, the contract dropped $0.35, or 0.5%, to settle at $68.09. Futures touched a seven-month high of $70.32 on 5 June.

Crude oil, which has closed at more than $60 a barrel each session since 20 May, also rose as the dollar dropped, increasing the appeal of commodities as a hedge against a weaker US currency.

Samsung Electronics, which earned 19% of its 2008 revenue in the US, increased 1.2% in Seoul after Krugman said that the US may be stabilising.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.4% to 102.76 as of 9.41am in Tokyo, with three stocks advancing for each two that declined. Krugman, a Princeton University economist, said that he wouldn’t be surprised “if the official end of the US recession ends up being, in retrospect, dated some time this summer.”

The euro increased from a one-week low and the pound advanced against the dollar after a report said that the UK housing market showed signs of stabilising in May 2009. The euro increased to $1.3914 per dollar as of 10.16am in Tokyo from $1.3900 on 8 June in New York. The pound increased to $1.6056 from $1.6051.

Brent crude for July 2009 delivery increased as much as $0.78, or 1.2%, to $68.66 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was traded at $68.49 at 11.45am Sydney time. Futures touched $69.91 on 5 June, the highest since 21 October 2008.