Oil prices rise on upbeat US growth data

30th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices rose on Thursday as positive US economic growth data pointed to the prospect of higher energy demand in the United States, the world's biggest economy and crude consumer.

New York's main contract West Texas Intermediate for delivery in March advanced $1.05 to $98.41 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for March won 15 cents to stand at $108 a barrel in late London deals compared with Wednesday's closing level.

"US GDP figures boosted demand expectations of the world's biggest oil consumer," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at traders CMC Markets UK.

Strong US growth figures brought a reprieve to the markets on Thursday after a further stimulus cut by the Federal Reserve rattled emerging market currencies despite rate rises by India, South Africa and Turkey.

Official data showed the US economy grew at a stronger-than-expected annual rate of 3.2 percent in the final quarter of last year.

The figures were published a day after the Fed on Wednesday said it would reduce its massive bond-buying programme by $10 billion-a-month to $65 billion, citing a pick-up in the US economy.

David Lennox, a resources analyst at Fat Prophets, said the taper was a "reflection of the US economy which according to the Fed is growing at a better than expected rate at the moment".

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© 2014 AFP

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