File art PAMELA SAMPSON, AP Business Writer
BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil rose slightly Friday, ahead of the release of an economic report in the U.S.
Benchmark oil for October delivery gained 5 cents to $105.08 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.18 to close at $105.03 a barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.
The eurozone’s purchasing managers’ index, a key gauge of growth in both the manufacturing and services sectors, rose to 51.7 points in August from 50.4 in July, according to financial information company Markit. It was the highest reading since June 2011 and supported expectations that the eurozone’s recovery from recession is gaining momentum.
Still, traders said the eurozone’s recovery was uneven and being driven by outsized momentum from Germany.
“Output levels slowed notably in France in both the sectors, in sharp contrast to strong outcomes out of Germany. This validates the fragile nature of the turnaround in activity, as growth is not on firm ground even amongst the core member countries,” said analysts at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore in a commentary.
Traders will turn their attention later in the day to the release by the U.S. government of new home sales for July. The data is key to evaluating the strength of the housing market, a critical element of the overall economy.
Brent crude, which sets prices for imported oil used by many U.S. refineries, rose 27 cents to $110.17 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Heating oil rose 0.7 cent to $3.0811 per gallon.
— Natural gas rose 0.1 cent to $3.546 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Wholesale gasoline gained 0.9 cent to $2.8478 per gallon.