- POSTED: 18 Jan 2014 05:47
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Global oil prices scored modest gains Friday, lifted by trader optimism about demand prospects after encouraging economic signs this week.
NEW YORK: Global oil prices scored modest gains Friday, lifted by trader optimism about demand prospects after encouraging economic signs this week.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February, closed at US$94.37 a barrel, an increase of 41 cents ahead of the long holiday weekend.
The US market is closed Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday.
European benchmark Brent North Sea crude, trading on the first day of the March delivery contract, gained 73 cents to settle at US$106.48 a barrel in London trade.
After last Friday's poor December US jobs report, the oil market found better-than-expected data this week on retail sales and weekly unemployment claims. On Friday, housing starts data showed the overall housing recovery was on track in the world's largest economy.
"The crude complex has a skip in its step heading into the weekend, buoyed by economic optimism and global demand prospects," said Matt Smith of Schneider Electric.
"Decent economic data releases this week are lending support to black gold," he said.
Eurozone industrial output rebounded sharply in November, data showed, and Germany's powerful German BDI industry federation said that Europe's top economy could notch up growth of at least 2.0 per cent this year if investment picked up and the eurozone stabilised.
On Thursday, OPEC nudged up its world oil demand growth forecasts for 2013 and 2014, citing positive developments in Europe and North America.
The revision was helped by the US economic recovery and hikes in industrial and transportation fuel consumption there, OPEC said in its monthly report. Oil demand also started picking up in Europe at the end of 2013.