RTTNews - Oil rallied to a six-month high on Friday and capped its biggest monthly gain in a decade. Prices are on the rise in recent weeks with hopes improving for energy demand.

Light sweet crude for July delivery settled at $66.31, up $1.23 on the session. Oil reached as as high as $66.47 earlier in the day.

Oil finished the week up $4.64 and gained about 30% in the month, its best since March 1999. Three straight weekly drops in crude oil inventories helped push prices higher.

Crude oil added 72 cents yesterday following Energy Department data that showed stockpiles fell by 5.4 million barrels in the week ending May 22. Earlier on Thursday, OPEC said it will keep output unchanged following a meeting in Vienna on Thursday.

On Friday, a Commerce Department report showed that gross domestic product fell 5.7 percent in the first quarter compared to the advance estimate of a 6.1 percent decrease. Economists had been expecting the pace of contraction to be revised to 5.5 percent.

A weaker U.S. dollar also boosted the hedge appeal of oil and other commodities. The greenback touched its lowest level in nearly seven months against the pound and its worst level in about five months against the euro.

Gasoline prices climbed to $2.467 per regular gallon, according to AAA data. This is higher than the month-ago mark of $2.05 but well-below the mark of $3.952 from a year ago when it climbed to a record high of $4.114 in mid-July.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com