Oil Gains More Than $2, Brent Rebounds From 16-Month Low
NEW YORK, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices jumped by more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday off multimonth lows as the prospect of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia combined with strong U.S. economic data to raise demand expectations.
New orders for U.S. factory goods jumped in July and automobile sales in August were unexpectedly robust, offering further signs of strength in the manufacturing sector.
President Vladimir Putin outlined plans for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday but Ukraine's prime minister dismissed the proposal, while France expressed its disapproval of Moscow's support for separatist forces by halting delivery of a warship.
After speaking to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko by phone, Putin said he believed Kiev and pro-Russian separatists could reach agreement at planned talks in Minsk on Friday.
"If the ceasefire holds, sanctions will be lifted and that will mean more economic activity. We've gone from a situation where we'd lowered demand expectations to rising demand," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago.
U.S. crude settled up $2.66 at $95.54 a barrel, recapturing nearly all of the more than $3 it shed on Tuesday when it neared a nine-month low. Markets were closed on Monday for a U.S. holiday.
Brent crude rose by $2.43 to settle at $102.77 at 11:41 a.m. EDT (1541 GMT) after settling at its lowest since May 1, 2013, on Tuesday.
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