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Oil rises ahead of U.S. consumer confidence survey

Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 50 cents to $92.43 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

By PAMELA SAMPSON
The Associated Press

9/25/2012

BANGKOK — Expectations of improved consumer confidence in the U.S. helped boost oil prices on Tuesday.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 50 cents to $92.43 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract fell 96 cents to finish at $91.93 per barrel on the Nymex on Monday. Worries about weaker economic growth dragged down prices because slower economies mean less demand for oil.

Brent crude rose 60 cents to $110.41 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Oil analyst Stephen Schork said in an e-mail commentary that while U.S. growth is "anemic," prices were buoyed by expectations of improving U.S. consumer sentiment for September, to be released later Tuesday in New York by the Conference Board.

"As for today all eyes will likely be on consumer confidence," Schork said. He also said good news could come from the U.S. housing market, which appears to be bouncing back after years of lethargy. Standard & Poor's releases S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for July, and data on new and pending home sales will be released later in the week.

Last week, a report said U.S. home sales jumped to the highest level in more than two years in August. The government also reported that construction of single-family homes in August was the fastest in more than two years.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Natural gas rose 0.9 cents to $2.846 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.1064 per gallon.

— Wholesale gasoline rose 1.4 cents to $2.9318 per gallon.

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