Oil Trumps $85 on Renewed Economic Optimism

Spurred by encouraging economic data on the domestic front, increased risk appetite pushed crude futures back above $85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange ahead of the weekend.

Lifted by a weakened greenback, the dollar-denominated price of light, sweet crude oil for June delivery surged to $85.12 a barrel at the close of Friday's session. Also rallying in the oil complex, NYMEX gasoline futures climbed slightly higher to $2.35 a gallon.

Rising crude oil and gasoline supplies, especially at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point, and still-lackluster demand pressured the new front-month contract's prices earlier in the week.

Today, U.S. single-family home sales were reported to have strengthened by 26.9% in March. The bullish economic report helped to raises spirits on Wall Street, which in turn positively impacted both the equities and commodities markets.

Additionally, May natural gas spot prices at the Henry Hub extended gains on the commodity exchange, ultimately settling to $4.26 per thousand cubic feet.