Crude prices surge on U.S. economic data

08:28, December 24, 2010      

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Crude prices gained for the fifth straight day on Thursday as a series of U.S. data showed a picking-up of economy recovery and positive oil demand prospects.

According to Commerce Department reports on Thursday, personal consumption expenditures advanced 0.4 percent in November, its fifth straight month to rise. Personal income rose better-than- expected by 0.3 percent.

Sales of new homes rose 5.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 290,000 units.

Durable goods orders excluding transportation increased 2.4 percent in November, the largest increase since March, although the overall orders fell 1.3 percent, larger than expected.

Meanwhile, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 74.5 in December, its highest level since June.

The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims dipped slightly to 420,000 in the week ended Dec. 18, matching the median forecast.

The Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday, natural gas in storage fell 184 billion cubic feet in the December 17 week.

Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose 1.03 U.S. dollars to 91.51 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February climbed 60 cents to 94.25 dollars a barrel in London trade.

Source: Xinhua
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