Crude futures advanced a second day in New York as concern that tensions in the Middle East may curtail oil exports countered signs of weaker growth in the U.S.
West Texas Intermediate rose as much as 52 cents, or 0.6 percent. Prices gained even as manufacturing in the New York region shrank more than forecast in December, showing weakness in the industry is persisting as the year draws to a close. Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are massing near a Palestinian camp a day after air attacks on the site killed eight civilians.
WTI for January delivery was at $87.03 a barrel, up 30 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 8:21 a.m. local time. Front-month prices advanced 0.9 percent for the week ended Dec. 14.
Brent for February settlement increased 7 cents to $108.25 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The January contract settled $1.24 higher at $109.15 when it expired Dec. 14. The European grade was at a premium of $20.73 to WTI, down from $22.42 on Dec. 14.