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Oil prices gain on encouraging U.S. data

English.news.cn   2014-03-29 05:32:53

NEW YORK, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices extended gains Friday as data showed U.S. personal income and spending increased broadly in February.

Both U.S. personal income and consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in February, the Commerce Department said, with the former beating market expectations and the latter matching analysts' forecast.

However, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index's final reading in March came out at 80.0, missing market consensus of 80.5.

As the United States is the top crude consumer of the world, the recovery of its economy signals more demand ahead.

The Ukraine crisis continued to support the crude market. U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday urged Russia to pull back troops from the border with Ukraine and start direct talks with its neighbor. Moscow's next move is a top concern of the West after it annexed Crimea this month, though the Kremlin said it had no intention to split Ukraine.

Russia produced more than 10 million barrels crude a day in January, and is the second-largest producer of natural gas. More than 70 percent of Russian crude and gas exports to Europe pass through Ukraine.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery moved up 39 cents to settle at 101.67 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery gained 24 cents to close at 108.07 dollars a barrel.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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