RTTNews - Crude oil continued its upward charge on Friday and finished at its best level in 11 days. Oil rose as an encouraging housing report improved expectations for energy demand.

Light sweet crude oil for August settlement rose $1.54 to settle at $63.56 per barrel. Prices hit as high as $63.99 after earlier hitting as low as $61.04.

Oil bounced off its lows as the dollar gave back earlier gains against the euro and sterling. The greenback was near its overnight levels in afternoon trading. Often, commodities move opposite the dollar because of the hedge appeal.

In economic news, the U.S. Commerce Department revealed that housing starts rose 3.6 percent to an annual rate of 582,000 units in June from a revised pace of 562,000 units in the previous month. Economists were expecting the figure to remain relatively stable with the pace of 532,000 units that was originally reported for May.

Oil advanced for a third straight session after falling in nine of the previous 10. For the week, crude finished up $3.70, its first weekly gain in five.

Crude prices moved up more than $2 on Wednesday after Energy Department data showed crude oil inventories decreased by 2.8 million barrels from the previous week. Gasoline inventories increased by 1.5 million barrels.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com