RTTNews - Oil prices closed modestly higher on Friday, ending the session well off the highs for the session but still extending the upward move seen in the previous session. Despite the continued increase, oil remains well off the ten-month high set earlier in the week.
After ending Thursday's trading up $1.06 at $72.49 a barrel, crude for October delivery closed up $0.24 at $72.74 a barrel. During the session, the price of oil rose as high as $73.52 a barrel, but it gave back some ground in afternoon trading.
The price of oil showed a notable upward move in early trading amid some initial strength on Wall Street, but it moved back to the downside along with stocks.
The modestly higher close came as traders digested some key economic data, including a report from Reuters and the University of Michigan showing a much bigger than expected upward revision to their consumer sentiment index for the month of August.
In other commodities trading, gold for December delivery closed up $11.50 at $958.80 an ounce after moving roughly sideways in the three previous sessions. While the price of the precious metal closed well off its high of $964.60 an ounce, it still showed a modest gain for the week.
Reuters and the University of Michigan said their final consumer sentiment index reading for August came in at 65.7 compared to the mid-month reading of 63.2. While the index came in well above estimates, it remained below the final July reading of 66.0.
Separately, the Commerce Department said that personal income was nearly unchanged in July following a revised decrease of 1.1 percent in June. Economists had expected income to increase by 0.1 percent compared to the 1.3 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.
The report also showed that personal spending rose 0.2 percent in July compared to an upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in the previous month. The modest increase came in line with economist estimates.
With income unchanged and spending rising, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income fell to 4.2 percent in July compared with 4.5 percent in June.
Economic data is likely to be in focus next week, with the Labor Department scheduled to release its monthly employment report on Friday. The report is expected to show that non-farm payroll employment fell by 225,000 jobs in August.
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