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Oil tops $50 a barrel for first time this year

Brent crude oil has been above $50 a barrel for the first time this year, up 80 percent on the January price.

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Oil tops $50 a barrel for first time this year

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The price of Brent crude oil has been above $50 a barrel for the first time this year.

That is 80 percent up on the January price, which was the lowest in over 12 years.

Part of the gain was due to the weakness of the dollar as oil is priced in dollars.

Brent is the international benchmark for crude.

Prices were also boosted by new figures showing lower stockpiles in the United States following wildfires in the western provinces of Canada which reduced production there.

Canada is the biggest supplier to the US.

Cooler, humid weather has helped contain those fires which are no longer threatening the oil-sands facilities.

Analyst said whether the price keeps rising will depend on how much investors believe there is a pick up in global demand linked to economic recovery.