Oil ends Thanksgiving Holiday week with gains

2012-11-23 21:48:15 GMT2012-11-24 05:48:15(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices on Friday rose in light trading on protests in Egypt and hopes for release of bailout funds for Greece, ending the Thanksgiving Holiday week with gains of more than 1 percent.

Although a truce in Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas had eased concerns, fresh protests in Egypt triggered new worries among investors about oil supplies in the Middle East. Fears for any oil production or export disruption kept offering supports to oil prices.

The dollar fell on Friday against the euro after Greece suggested its international lenders including the International Monetary Fund and the euro zone were closer to an agreement on releasing aid funds to the debt-ridden country. A weakening dollar made the dollar-denominated crude more attractive.

The European finance ministers are scheduled to meet on Monday, discussing about offering bailout funds to Greece. Optimism about a deal at the meeting helped lift market sentiment.

Moreover, German business sentiment rose surprisingly in November, snapping a six-month-long declining streak, easing worries about the biggest European economy's health.

In U.S., the market confidence was boosted by the strong Black Friday shopping, which generated hopes for a decent holiday season results.

The market was closed Thursday, but trading volume on Friday was light because of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery rose 90 cents, or 1.03 percent, to settle at 88.28 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, it rose 1.36 dollars, or 1.56 percent.

Brent crude for January delivery gained 83 cents, or 0.75 percent, to finish at 111.38 dollars a barrel, posting a weekly increase of 2.43 dollars, or 2.23 percent.

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