Oil traded at a little-changed price of more than $70 a barrel in New York on the assumption that global demand for fuels will bounce back as economies emerge from recession, Bloomberg reported.

Crude oil for September 2009 delivery traded at $70.71 a barrel, up $0.11, on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12.01pm in Singapore.

In the past week, oil has settled near $71 as gains in the stock market boosted optimism about a recovery. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped from a ten-month high on 10 August, after four weeks of increases that left the index at the highest level relative to earnings since 2004.

China’s crude oil imports in July 2009 increased to a record 19.63 million metric tons.

New York oil futures have risen since February 2009 as the drop in the dollar has made commodities more attractive and rising equity markets have buoyed investor confidence. Oil touched an eight-month high of $73.38 a barrel on 30 June.

Most Japanese shares increased on 11 August and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 111.80 as of 11.48am in Tokyo. The gauge has risen 58% from a five-year low on 9 March on speculation of a global economic recovery.

The dollar traded at $1.4143 against the euro at 11.33am in Singapore, from $1.4140 in New York.

China bought a record volume of oil in July 2009 to meet its increasing demand. Oil imports increased 18% to 19.6 million metric tons, the Beijing-based customs said.

On 10 August, oil rebounded from technical support at $70 a barrel after reaching an intraday low of $70.09. Buy orders tend to cluster around chart-based support levels.

Brent crude oil for September 2009 traded at $73.51 a barrel, up $0.01, on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange, at 11.50am in Singapore. The contract declined $0.09, or 0.1%, to $73.50 in 2009.