News Column

Crude Oil Ends Higher, Tops USD102; Gains 2% For Week

May 16, 2014

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - US crude oil ended higher Friday, after some upbeat economic data from the US with some better-than-expected jump in US housing starts. Nonetheless, the gains were checked with an unexpected deterioration in consumer sentiment data.

Worries over possible supply disruptions from Russia due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and uncertainty about Libyan shipments also supported oil's rise.

Oil futures gained about 2% for the week.

Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for June delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained USD0.52 or 0.5% to close at USD102.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday.

Crude prices for June delivery scaled a high of USD102.23 a barrel intraday and a low of USD101.39.

The dollar index, which tracks the US unit against six major currencies, traded at 80.03 on Friday, up from its previous close of 80.02 late Thursday in North American trade. The dollar scaled a high of 80.12 intraday and a low of 79.97.

The euro traded lower against the dollar at USD1.3697 on Friday, as compared to its previous close of USD1.3710 late Thursday in North America. The euro scaled a high of USD1.3727 intraday and a low of USD1.3686.

In economic news from the US, housing starts surged by a better than expected 13.2% to an annual rate of 1.072 million in April from the revised March estimate of 947,000. Economists expected housing starts to climb to a rate of 980,000 from the 946,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, also jumped 8.0% to an annual rate of 1.080 million in April from the revised March rate of 1.0 million.

Meanwhile, a report from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan showed an unexpected deterioration in US consumer sentiment in May, with the index falling to 81.7 from 84.1 in the previous month. Economists expected the index to inch up to a reading of 84.5.

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Source: Alliance News

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