NEW YORK, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices edged up on Friday after choppy trading as investors weighed Spain's economic reforms plan against U.S. lackluster data.
After Spain, the fourth largest euro zone economy, announced a detailed timetable for economic reforms and a tough 2013 budget, crude markets started to rally as concerns over euro zone debt crisis eased.
Oil got further supports after the results of Spanish banks stress tests turned to be a relief. Most Spanish banks past the tests, although there still was a capital shortfall of 59.3 billion euros in case of a serious economic downturn.
For the Brent crude, maintenance in the North Sea field was another lifting factor as it had caused output declines.
But a series of soft data from the U.S. weighed heavily and pared the gains.
The Commerce Department said U.S. consumer income grew only 0.1 percent in August, falling short of the expectation of a 0.2- percent rise and reflecting a sluggish job market. Consumer spending rose 0.5 percent in the month partly because of high gasoline prices, in line with expectation.
To add to the soft signs, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, a barometer of Chicago area's business activity, fell to 49.7, its lowest level in three years. Readings above 50 percent indicate an expanding business sector.
U.S. consumer sentiment cooled slightly during September. The Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index slipped to 78.3 in the final September reading from 79.2 early this month, but still higher than the 74.3 final reading for August.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery rose 34 cent, or 0.37 percent to settle at 92.19 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the third quarter, it surged 7.23 dollars, or 7.84 percent after tumbling 17.5 percent in the second quarter.
In London, Brent crude for November delivery also gained moderately and last traded around 112 dollars a barrel, on the track to a 15-percent quarterly gain.