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Oil rises near US$100 a barrel as US economy shows surprising strength

A row of oil pumps work at sunset Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Hasan Jamali
December 20, 2013 - 2:17 PM

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The price of oil edged closer to US$100 a barrel Friday after the U.S. government said the economy grew at a faster rate in the third quarter than originally estimated.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose 28 cents to close at US$99.32 a barrel. For the week, oil was up about three per cent, largely because of signs of improvement in the U.S. economy. The last time oil closed above US$100 a barrel was Oct. 18.

The Commerce Department said Friday that the U.S. economy grew at a solid 4.1 per cent annual rate from July through September, the fastest pace since late 2011 and significantly higher than previously believed. Much of the upward revision came from stronger consumer spending.

A stronger outlook for the economy and job market prompted the Federal Reserve this week to begin winding down its bond-buying program, which was intended to lower long-term interest rates and encourage more borrowing and spending.

Brent crude, a benchmark used to price international crudes used by many U.S. refiners, rose $1.48, or 1.3 per cent, to close at US$111.77 a barrel.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline rose four cents to close at US$2.78 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil rose five cents to US$3.08 a gallon and natural gas dropped four cents to US$4.42 per thousand cubic feet.


News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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