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Crude oil futures gain in U.S. afternoon trade

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Crude oil futures gain in U.S. afternoon trade

Forexpros - Crude oil futures reversed a two-day losing streak to gain in U.S. trade Friday, aided by a promising retail sales figures and expectations of growing demand from the world's largest energy consumer.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange light, sweet crude futures for September delivery traded at USD86.42, gaining 1%, after hitting a daily low of USD84.03.

Early Friday, a Census Bureau said that U.S. core retail sales rose in July to a seasonally adjusted 0.5%, from a revised figure of 0.2% the previous month. Analysts had expected U.S. core retail sales to rise 0.2% last month.

Retail sales reached their highest level since April.

The encouraging sales figures were muted later in the day following the release of the University of Michigan index on consumer sentiment which dropped to 54.9 from 63.7 in July. Economists had expected a reading of 61.

It was the lowest reading for the index since May of 1980.

Meanwhile the European Union's statistics office announced Friday that industrial production in the euro-zone fell in June by 0.7%, as economies in the region continue to grapple over details on a bail-out package for debt threatened members in the region.

Earlier in the week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 5.2 million barrels last week, the steepest drop since last December 17.

As of last week, total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 349.8 million barrels, marginally higher than the seasonal average.

On the ICE Futures Exchange Brent oil futures for September delivery added 0.65% to trade at USD108.69.

Two separate weather systems in the Atlantic Ocean that had the potential to develop into hurricanes and disrupt U.S. oil production, were moving toward the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.

U.S. production in the Gulf accounts for 29% of total output.

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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.

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