Oil traded near a ten-month high after a recovery in sales of existing homes in the US helped spur optimism the global economy is emerging from recession, Bloomberg reported.

Crude oil for October 2009 delivery rose as much as 46¢, or 0.6%, to $74.35 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It traded at $74.21 at 10.58am in Singapore.

Oil rose alongside Asian equities after established home sales climbed more than forecast in July 2009 to the highest level in almost two years, signalling that the housing crisis crippling the US may be easing. The dollar dropped for a fifth day against the euro, bolstering the appeal of commodities.

The contract increased 1.3% to $73.89 a barrel on 21 August 2009 the highest settlement since 21 October 2009 as equities rallied and the dollar dropped. Futures have gained 66% in 2009.

Oil prices surged 19 August 2009 after the US Energy Department report showed an 8.4 million-barrel decline in the country’s commercially held stockpiles. The unexpected drop left inventories, still 12% higher than a previous year, at a four-week low.

Brent crude oil for October 2009 settlement increased as much as 50¢, or 0.7%, to $74.69 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract traded at $74.63 at 10.56am in Singapore.