Friday, January 25 15:28:31
Oil rose towards $114 a barrel today as robust economic data from the United States, China and Germany lifted the outlook for global fuel demand.
U.S. oil was on track to close for a seventh consecutive week of gains after a recent slew of positive indicators revived investor appetite for riskier assets, including oil.
Manufacturing in China and the United States grew this month at the quickest pace in about two years.
And Germany's business climate index, published on Friday by the Munich-based Ifo think tank, showed morale rising to its highest in more than half a year, adding to evidence Europe's largest economy is gathering speed.
Brent crude rose 22 cents to $113.50 a barrel by 1512 GMT after earlier reaching a session high of $113.84. U.S. crude rose 38 cents to $96.33.
The North Sea crude benchmark was on track to post its second week of gains as it remains at the highest level in more than three months.
"The moves in the oil prices have in recent days been slow as a result of low volatility, but we still have an upward trend since December," said Harry Tchilinguirian, an analyst at BNP Paribas.
"If you put the pieces of the macro data together you see that the environment is improving for oil and that the risks for the global economy posed by the U.S. fiscal cliff and the euro zone's slow economic recovery are receding," he added.
Employment in the United States also improved with the number of new claims for jobless benefits dropping to a five-year low last week.
"The short-term uptrend on Brent remains intact, even though we still believe that fundamentally there are few reasons to rally at the moment," Andrey Kryuchenkov said in a note to clients.
Investors are also closely watching the Seaway oil pipeline, after its operator reduced on Wednesday the oil flow rate to the U.S. Gulf Coast from Cushing by more than half, to 175,000 barrels per day (bpd). (C ) Reuters