Oil prices rise on strong US data

Thursday 21 August 2014 18.52
Oil prices rise on strong US economic data
Oil prices rise on strong US economic data

Oil prices rose today after the release of solid economic data in the US, the world's top consumer of crude, traders said.

Futures rebounded from losses earlier in the day caused by receding concerns that conflicts in crude producers Libya and Iraq would result in a major supply disruption. 

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October climbed 28 cents to stand at $102.56 a barrel in London deals. 

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October jumped 92 cents to $94.36 a barrel compared with last night's close. 

Initial jobless claims in the US fell to 298,000 in the week ending August 16, a bigger drop than expected by markets. 

Sales of existing US homes also rose in July to their fastest pace in almost a year, separate data showed. 

Traders, meanwhile, continued to track political developments in crude producers Libya and Iraq, as well as Ukraine, a key conduit for Russian gas exports to Europe, analysts said. 

Analysts said that supply fears stemming from conflicts in both Iraq and Ukraine have recently diminished.

Supply fears have also been quelled by an increased export volume from Libya. Exports have resumed from Libya's largest port following the end of the year-long blockade, they added. 

In a volatile week of trading, global oil prices rebounded yesterday from the previous day's multi-month lows, as dealers digested signs of strengthening crude demand in the US. 

The Department of Energy said that American crude oil stockpiles slumped 4.5 million barrels in the week ending August 15. That was far heavier than expectations for a drop of 900,000 barrels, according to analysts. 

New York benchmark crude on Tuesday dropped below $95 a barrel for the first time since January as traders awaited the US stockpiles data.