Oil rose to a two-week high after confidence among U.S. consumers beat expectations in December, bolstering the outlook for fuel demand in the biggest crude- consuming country. Futures rose as much as 1 percent as the Conference Board’s index climbed to the highest level since April, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The consumer confidence measure increased to 64.5 from a revised 55.2 reading in November. It averaged 53.7 during the recession that ended in June 2009, figures from the New York- based private research group show.
Crude oil for February delivery rose to $100.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have climbed 9.9 percent this year after increasing 15 percent in 2010.
Brent oil for February settlement increased 34 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $108.30 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European contract’s premium to crude in New York was $8.28 a barrel at the close of trading Dec. 23, the smallest differential based on settlement prices since March 8.
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