Oil trades above $74, spikes to year's highest level on strong Chinese economic performance.
By George Jahn, Associated Press Writer
On Friday August 21, 2009, 10:11 am EDT
VIENNA (AP) -- Oil prices hit their highest level this year on Friday as traders looked past a mixed batch of U.S. economic data to focus on a strong rise in China's bellwether stock index.
Benchmark crude for October delivery was up $1.29 to $74.20 a barrel by afternoon European electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the day it hit $74.48, the highest level so far this year.
On Thursday, the contract fell 92 cents to settle at $72.91.
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