Both the WTI and Brent contracts skywarded in the closing deals in New York on Thursday as data suggested economic growth in the United States, the world’s top crude consumer, remains at a steady pace. In Asian trading oil prices rose today after a brief dip as dealers digested upbeat US economic data and comments from a Federal Reserve official that its stimulus programme will not end soon, analysts said.
WTI for August delivery increased as much as 48 cents to $97.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $97.34 at 3 p.m. Singapore time. The contract rose $1.55, or 1.6 percent, to $97.05 yesterday, the biggest gain since May 3. The volume of all futures traded was 29 percent higher than the 100-day average. Futures are up 5.9 percent this month and 0.1 percent in the second quarter.
Brent for August settlement climbed as much as 39 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $103.21 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices are up 2.7 percent in June. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $5.65 to WTI futures, from $5.77 yesterday.