Improving global economic outlook and fears of Middle East unrest push oil prices up
YEREVAN, August 23, /ARKA/. World oil prices rose on Friday on the wave of upbeat business surveys. Manufacturing activity in the U.S. and China rose to multi-month highs while growth in the eurozone was better than expected, according to Reuters.
Brent North Sea oil for delivery in October rose ten cents to $110 a barrel in London early afternoon deals. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for September added 16 cents to $105.19 per barrel.
In the eurozone, the preliminary composite purchasing managers index of business activity (PMI) hit a 26-month high of 51.7 points for August fr om 50.5 in July. Anything above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 points to contraction. And in the United States the flash PMI came in at 53.9, up from a final July reading of 53.7.
The data followed a similar upturn in China, wh ere HSBC said its PMI reading hit a four-month high of 50.1, adding to recent figures suggesting a slowdown in the Asian economic giant is coming to an end. In Europe on Friday, British economic growth was upgraded to 0.7 percent for the second quarter, compared with the prior estimate of 0.6 percent.
The global oil market meanwhile remains supported by fears that the unrest in Egypt could spread across the Middle East and block off supplies. Further oil price support stemmed from supply outages in Libya. However, Libya’s National Oil Company announced a resumption of exports from the Brega terminal in the east, allowing it from Thursday partially to lift a declaration of force majeure. -0-