SINGAPORE (AFP) - Oil raced towards 86 dollars a barrel in Asian trade Monday, extending gains on demand optimism amid signs of a global economic upswing, analysts said. New Yorks light sweet crude for delivery in May was up 77 cents to 85.64 dollars a barrel. New York crude briefly traded above 85 dollars last week, its highest level since October 2008. Brent North Sea crude for May climbed 59 cents to 84.60 dollars a barrel. Analysts said the markets rally was helped by a series of bullish economic data, including Fridays US jobs report, which showed the biggest growth in three years, boosting recovery hopes for the worlds largest economy. Many traders also bought ahead of the long weekend and now we have some momentum carrying the trade forward and pushing prices up, said Victor Shum, an analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz in Singapore. Investor sentiment was also boosted by last weeks numbers showing the US manufacturing sector grew at a faster pace than expected and a government report that said Chinese manufacturing picked up in March. Manufacturing in the eurozone also defied forecasts in March, with a key index hitting a 40-month high. A weaker dollar, which makes dollar-priced commodities such as crude cheaper for investors using other currencies, has also helped push oil prices higher, analysts said.