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Crude oil gains on Middle East conflict concerns

By: Investing.com
Posted: 6/14/2013 4:29:00 PM
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Investing.com - Crude prices rose in U.S. trading on Friday after the U.S. said it would send weapons to Syrian opposition forces, which fanned concerns unrest may escalate in the oil-rich region and threaten supply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in July traded up 1.02% at USD97.68 a barrel on Friday, off from a session high of USD98.25 and up from an earlier session low of USD96.43.

Reports that the U.S. will arm Syrian rebels in wake of allegations that government forces have used chemical weapons during the internal conflict sent oil prices gaining on Friday.

Both Syria and its ally Russia strongly denied the accusations, and concerns that Syria's conflict may escalate eclipsed spotty data out of the U.S.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier that the U.S. producer price index rose 0.5% in May, beating expectations for a 0.1% rise after a 0.7% decline the previous month, which drew applause in energy markets.

The core producer price index, which is stripped of the more volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.1% last month, in line with expectations, after a 0.1% gain in April.

However, the Federal Reserve reported earlier industrial production in the U.S. came in flat in May, missing expectations for a 0.2% rise though up from a 0.4% contraction the previous month.

Still, investors chose to focus on geopolitical concerns over soft output and consumer sentment figures.

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index fell to 82.7 in June from 84.5 in May.

Analysts were expected the reading to remain unchanged at 84.5.

On the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for August delivery were up 0.75% at USD105.74 a barrel, up USD8.06 from its U.S. counterpart.







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