Thursday, January 17, 2013

Crude oil futures rally to 4-month high on U.S. economic outlook - Crude oil futures rose to the highest level since mid-September during U.S. morning hours on Thursday, amid indications the U.S. economy was gaining momentum.

Geopolitical tensions in Algeria provided further support.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in March traded at USD95.80 a barrel during U.S. morning trade, up 1.2% on the day. 

New York-traded oil prices rose by as much as 1.4% earlier to hit a session high of USD95.97 a barrel, the strongest level since September 19.

Oil futures prices rose to the highest level of the day after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week fell by 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 335,000, compared to expectations for a decline of 7,000 to 365,000.

A separate report showed that U.S. housing starts jumped by 12.1% in December to a seasonally adjusted 0.954 million, compared to expectations for a 3.3% increase to 0.890 million.

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