Oil rises on positive data

13:37, July 20, 2011      

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U.S. crude oil price Tuesday rose on positive U.S. housing starts data, strong earnings and a weaker dollar.

The Commerce Department said U.S. housing starts in June rose 14.6 percent from May, hitting a six-month high and giving investors hope for a strengthening economic recovery.

On the earnings front, IBM and Coca Cola reported strong quarterly earnings, offsetting disappointing results from banks like Goldman Sachs. U.S. stocks jumped on Tuesdays, offering lift to the crude market.

The dollar index that tracks the greenback's performance against a basket of currencies fell about 0.4 percent. A weaker dollar made oil more attractive.

In Europe, the leaders from euro-zone countries will meet on Thursday to discuss a solution to the Greek debt crisis. Investors were hoping the meeting could offer help to the debt-burdened country and eased investors' concerns.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery gained 1.57 dollars, or 1.64 percent to settle at 97.50 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for September delivery also rose and last traded above 117 dollars a barrel.

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