Oil inches up on positive data

March 31st, 2012 - 8:53 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New York, March 31 (IANS) US crude oil price inched up Friday as US consumer sentiment witnessed a boost and the dollar dropped to a one-month low against the euro.

According to the Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s survey, US consumer sentiment index for March rose to 76.2 from February’s 75.3, the best level since early 2008. This lifted the market sentiment, Xinhua reported.

The euro rose against the dollar to a one-month high as eurozone finance ministers agreed to boost the emergency firewall to 700 billion euros (about$933 billion) to contain the region’s debt crisis and Spain presented an austerity plan that generated hopes for investors.

Spain planned to save more than 27 billion euros in 2012 through spending cuts and revenue increases.

The dollar index was down nearly 0.3 percent. The weaker dollar pushed up the dollar-denominated crude.

Besides, after the big drop on the previous trading day, there was a need for technical rebound in the markets.

The White House released a memorandum Friday showing that President Barack Obama would move ahead with new harsh sanctions aimed at squeezing Iran’s oil exports.

More sanctions would be posed on banks in countries that still imported Iran’s oil. Expectation of more supply declines from Iran accelerated oil’s gains.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery was up 24 cents, or 0.23 percent to settle at $103.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. But for this week, it plunged $3.85, or 3.60 percent.

In London, Brent crude for May delivery also rose slightly by 49 cents, or 0.40 percent to close at $122.88 a barrel. It dropped $2.25, or 1.80 percent in the week.

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