NEW YORK (AP) - Oil prices climbed to near $87 per barrel Friday as encouraging economic news in the U.S., China and Europe raised hopes that the global economy won't fall back into recession.
Benchmark crude rose $2.35, or 2.8 percent, at $86.58 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price oil from foreign countries, rose $2.87, or 2.6 percent, to $113.98 in London.
Prices jumped after China said its inflation rate dropped last month, giving Chinese leaders more room to further stimulate the economy without overheating it.
This week China reported a slowdown in exports, raising concerns that sluggish demand from the U.S. and Europe was taking a toll on world's second-largest economy. But with low inflation, analysts said China has the ability to ease limits on bank lending to keep its economy growing.
Meanwhile, gasoline pump prices rose for a fourth straight day, by nearly 2 cents, for a national average of $3.443 per gallon.. A gallon of regular is at a record high for this time of year.