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Oil prices higher in Asian trade

August 20, 2012


Crude oil — File Photo
Crude oil — File Photo

SINGAPORE: World oil prices rose in Asian trade Monday, buoyed by data showing improved US consumer confidence and upbeat market sentiment in Europe.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for September delivery was up 16 cents to $96.17 a barrel in morning trade, and Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October climbed 48 cents to $114.19.

Analysts said crude prices partly got a boost from news that US consumers were a little more upbeat than last month.

The University of Michigan Consumer Confidence index for August came in slightly higher than the previous month, at 73.6, although still well below pre-recession levels.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's statement last week backing European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi's position on making sure the euro would not fail has also revived hopes of strong action to solve an escalating debt crisis in the eurozone.

As head of Europe's biggest economy, Merkel is key to the success of any plan to save the 17-nation eurozone.