Crude Posts Largest Three-Day Gain Since 1998

Crude oil rose by more than six dollars a barrel Friday, capping the biggest three-day rally in almost a decade, on speculation government measures to resolve the bank crisis will spur the economy and bolster demand.

Crude for October delivery rose $6.67 to settle at $104.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, futures touched $105.25 a barrel, the highest since Sept. 9.

There was a technical element to trade Friday as October crude oil contract expires Sept. 22, and some traders were buying oil to cover shorts.

Still, prices are down 29 percent from a record $147.27 a barrel reached on July 11.

Next week, traders are expecting the Energy Dept to reveal low U.S. inventories in the wake of hurricanes Ike and Gustav, which should also add support.