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Crude gains as U.S. industrial production beats expectations

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Investing.com - Surging production in U.S. factories, mines and utilities pushed oil prices higher on Friday on hopes a more robust U.S. economy will demand more energy and fuels going forward.

Soft consumer sentiment figures capped the commodity's gains, however.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in April traded up 0.41% at USD93.41 a barrel on Friday, off from a session high of USD93.82 and up from an earlier session low of USD93.01.

The Federal Reserve reported earlier that U.S. industrial production rose by 0.7% in February after contracting 0.1% in January.

Analysts were expecting industrial production to rise 0.4% last month.

The news sent oil prices gaining as did hopes for a European recovery.

At a summit earlier, E.U. leaders granted countries such as France, Spain and Portugal extra time to narrow deficits, which gave the single currency room to rise against the dollar, which brought oil prices up.

A cheaper greenback makes oil a nicely priced asset in dollar-denominated exchanges, especially in the eyes of investors holding other currencies.

Elsewhere, E.U. and International Monetary Fund officials were outlining a financial assistance package for Cyprus, which further pushed up the single currency as did data on both sides of the Atlantic.

Capping gains, however, was the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment reading for March, which came to 71.8, the lowest since December of 2011 and well below analysts' calls for a 78.0 reading.

Elsewhere on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for May delivery were up 0.80% at USD109.83 a barrel, up USD16.42 from its U.S. counterpart.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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