Oil keeps rising on supply disruption worries
Crude prices on Friday kept rising for the fifth straight trading day as tension in the Middle East raised worries about supply disruption, Xinhua reported.
Although there was no oil supply disruption yet, the tension between Iran and western countries, violence in Iraq and unrest in Syria and Kazakhstan all posed risks to world oil supplies and kept pushing crude prices higher. In the coming week, Iran would launch 10 days of maneuvers east of Strait of Hormuz, one of the most important water route for crude carriers, causing risk premium in the crude markets.
On the economic front, U.S. new home sales rose 1.6 percent and durable goods orders spiked 3.8 percent in November, adding more positive signs to the country's economy, indicating the world's largest oil consumer was picking up steam in economic recovery and may need more oil.
In the past week, progress has been witnessed in addressing the ongoing European debt crisis. The European Central Bank started to offer three-year loans to eurozone banks for the every first time, a move seen as avoiding liquidity crisis in the region. Financial markets sentiment was sharply boosted.
However, ahead of Christmas holiday, trading volume kept going low in this week, making the markets more volatile.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery added 15 cents, or 0. 15 percent to settle at 99.68 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For this week, it soared 6.15 dollars, or 6. 58 percent.
In London, Brent crude for February delivery edged up 7 cents to close at 107.96 dollars a barrel. For the week, it surged 4.61 dollars, or 4.46 percent.