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Tickers in this Article: UUP, COP, PSX, CHK
New York, May 1st ( - Oil futures jumped to their best levels since early April following a bullish manufacturing report this morning that stoked hope among traders that the U.S., the world's largest economy and oil consumer, is still showing legitimate signs of economic growth. The good cheer sent NYMEX-traded crude for June delivery higher by $1.29, or 1.2%, to close at $106.16 a barrel. In London, Brent crude for June delivery added 16 cents to settle $119.62 a barrel. Oil's move to the upside came despite a slightly stronger U.S. dollar. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (NYSE: UUP) added almost 0.1% today. In economic news, the Institute for Supply Management's factory index surged to 54.8 last month, easily topping the reading of 53 economists expected. The April reading is the highest since June 2011. The Commerce Department said construction spending inched up 0.1% in March following a revised 1.4% decline in February. Economists expected a March increase of 0.5%.

The premium for Brent crude fell below $14 for the first time in nearly three months Tuesday because of the surge in Nymex-traded crude, according to the Wall Street Journal. In earnings news, the U.S.-listed shares of BP (NYSE: BP), Europe's second-largest oil company, fell 1.6% on above average volume after the company said its first-quarter profit fell 19%. Asset sales dinged production and the company cited weak refining margins as reasons for the glum profit report.

BP did not raise its dividend, which it did when it reported fourth-quarter results. The company said it is looking to raise its asset sales goal to $38 billion by the end of 2013, up from the current level of $23 billion. About 120,000 barrels of oil equivalent capacity a day will be sold this year, Bloomberg reported.

In its first day of trading, Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), the former downstream operations of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) fell almost 4%. The newly public company said it is looking to increase its presence across all U.S. shale markets. In its first day of trading as the largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer by market value, ConocoPhillips gained 3.5%.

In after-hours, downtrodden Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) was down half a percent after the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer reported a first-quarter profit of 18 cents a share on revenue of $2.42 billion. Analysts expected a profit of 28 cents a share on revenue of $2.71 billion. Chesapeake said it plans to significantly reduce capital expenditures for drilling, completion and leasehold from the first quarter 2012 levels during the remainder of 2012 and in 2013, according to a statement issued by the company.

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