NEW YORK, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices advanced Friday as U. S. consumer sentiment of August jumped to the highest level in seven years.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading of the consumer sentiment index registered 82.5 in August from 81.8 in July, beating market expectations.
A string of encouraging U.S. economic data continued to drive the crude prices up.
The U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter, lifted by stronger growth of exports and private investment, according to revised data released by the Commerce Department Thursday. The latest data was higher than the initial estimate of 4 percent and beat analysts' expectations.
The number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits in the week ending Aug. 23 decreased 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, said the U.S. Labor Department.
Renewed tensions in Ukraine also lifted the market up. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday expressed strong solidarity with Ukraine after an extraordinary meeting of the NATO- Ukraine Commission.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery rose 1.41 U.S. dollars to settle at 95.96 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery gained 73 cents to close at 103.19 dollars a barrel.