Oil settles above $63

Strong U.S. housing data support signs of a rebound in a key sector of the economy.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

Click on the chart to see other commodity prices.

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Oil closed above $63 a barrel Friday, posting its first weekly gain in a month, after U.S. housing data sparked optimism that a battered sector of the economy may be primed for recovery.

Oil rose for a fifth day, partially reversing its 10% plunge last week.

A U.S. government report Friday showed construction of new homes and building permits in the United States rose more than expected in June, signaling a potential economic recovery.

The housing data Friday added to better-than-expected U.S. corporate earnings and robust Chinese economic growth figures earlier this week.

Renewed, violent protests over contested presidential elections in crude supplier Iran on Friday, and a tropical wave in the Central Atlantic that posed a small threat of becoming a hurricane, also spurred oil buying ahead of the weekend.

"Oil is rebounding because there's a sense we have probably overplayed pessimism about the economy lately, and prices had fallen too far," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Foggiest Research in Chicago.

"Increased tension in Iran and a tropical wave (in the Atlantic) are also considerations. People don't want to be caught short over the weekend."

U.S. crude oil for August settled up $1.54 to $63.56 a barrel.

Oil rose in spite of a 0.3% strengthening of the U.S. dollar against a basket of foreign currencies. A strengthening dollar often weakens oil prices, which had fallen in earlier trade, since it makes crude more expensive in most regions. The dollar pared some of its earlier gains, after rising 0.4% earlier.

Global stocks rose on Friday, by 0.7%, and touched a one-month high in earlier trade. Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) posted lower earnings but Citibank (C, Fortune 500) rose after a one-off gain to return a profit, following strong profits from banking peers this week, which pushed equities higher.

In China, refiners in the world's No. 2 energy consumer boosted production by 6% in June to a record high after a rise in domestic motor fuel prices aided margins, although higher inventories and rising exports suggested domestic demand was lagging.

Data earlier this week showed Chinese growth sped up to hit 7.9% in the second-quarter, fueled by state spending and bank lending.

Oil prices are down $7 a barrel since early July, partly reversing last quarter's 40% surge on concerns over energy demand. In the United States, distillate inventories hit a fresh 25-year high last week, while refiners have been running at lower-than-normal rates for the summer season. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Copyright 2009 Reuters All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.