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Crude Rises to Four-Month High on Economic Confidence

Oil in New York reached the highest level in four months after reports from the U.S. to South Korea signaled increased confidence in the global economic recovery, potentially spurring oil demand.

Futures rose as German consumer confidence increased, following gains in business sentiment in South Korea and Australia. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values rose in November from a year earlier by the most in six years.

“The focus is very much on the continuing improved economic data,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said by phone from Copenhagen.

Oil for March delivery rose 74 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $97.18 a barrel at 9:22 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was less than 1 percent above the 100- day average for the time of day. The price reached $97.32, the highest since September.

Brent for March settlement advanced 3 cents to $113.51 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. The volume of all contracts traded was 27 percent above the 100-day average.

German consumer confidence will rise next month due to a stable labor market and higher income expectations, Gfk SE (GFK) said.

The Nuremberg-based market research company forecast today that its consumer-sentiment index, based on a survey of about 2,000 people, will rise to 5.8 from a revised 5.7 in January. Economists expected a gain to 5.7 from the initial January reading of 5.6, according to the median of 34 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

South Korea

A South Korean index of manufacturers’ expectations for February increased to 72 from 70 for January, the central bank said today in a statement. An index of Australian business confidence rose to 3 in December from minus 9, according to a National Australia Bank Ltd. survey of more than 500 companies, the biggest improvement in sentiment since October 2001.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 5.5 percent from November 2011, the biggest year-over-year gain since August 2006, a report showed today in New York. The median projection of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 5.6 percent advance.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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