Oil traded at more than $72 a barrel in New York on optimism that fuel demand will rise as the global economy pulls out of a recession.

Crude oil for October 2009 delivery was at $72.72 a barrel, up $0.23, on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11.55am Singapore time.

It earlier rose as much as 0.7% to $73.03 a barrel.

Yesterday, the contract rose $1.06, or 1.5%, to settle at $72.49.

Futures are poised to fall 1.6% this week.

Oil pared this week’s decline as Asian equities climbed, reinforcing expectations of an economic recovery.

The US Government said that the country’s economy contracted at a less-than-expected 1% in the second quarter.

US gross domestic product shrank at a 1% annual rate from April to June 2009, less than the 1.5% decline projected by economists in a Bloomberg News survey, a Commerce Department report showed on 27 August.