Channel NewsAsia

Oil prices rise on positive US data, Ukraine crisis

Global oil prices rose on Friday (Aug 29) as solid data lifted prospects for demand in the United States and tensions escalated between Ukraine and major energy producer Russia.

NEW YORK: Global oil prices rose on Friday (Aug 29) as solid data lifted prospects for demand in the United States and tensions escalated between Ukraine and major energy producer Russia.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery pushed higher for the fourth straight day, leaping $1.41 to $95.96 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for October added 73 cents to settle at $103.19 a barrel in London trade.

Despite the gains, oil prices finished lower for the month, with the WTI losing 2.3 per cent and Brent down 2.7 per cent.

A series of mostly encouraging data on the US economy this week appeared to signal more potential demand in the world's largest oil consumer.

The government's upward revision of gross domestic product growth in the second quarter, to an annual rate of 4.2 per cent from the prior estimate of 4.0 per cent "blew the socks off people... all of a sudden it smells like gasoline demand," said Phil Flynn of Price Futures Group.

"Strong GDP data in the United States is a sharp contrast to the economic struggles in Europe that are only going to get worse if there are more sanctions on Russia."

The United States has said it is weighing new sanctions against Russia because of its involvement in Ukraine, where pro-Kremlin separatists have been fighting against Kiev's rule since April.

NATO warned Russia on Friday over what it described as a "blatant violation" of Ukraine's sovereignty after the West accused Moscow of direct involvement in the escalating conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied Moscow is fueling the conflict or putting any troops on the ground in the former Soviet state.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia