Oil prices rose on Thursday after indications that the U.S. economy is improving despite the debt crisis in Europe. Speculation that tension in the Middle East could lead to a disruption of crucial supply routes has also led to an increase in oil futures in the second to last trading session of 2011.
Oil has been surging over the past couple of week after data regarding the U.S. jobless claims showed that it had fallen to a three year low. Housing data also showed that pending sales of existing homes increased for a second month. The latest force behind the rally of oil though is the underlying threat of Iran blocking crude shipments through the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions on its oil exports continue. A spokesperson on behalf of the U.S. Navy stated that they will not tolerate a disruption of the shipment of oil. 15.5 million barrels of oil, one six of the worlds consumption, passes through the Strait of Hormuz. That strait is situated between Iran and Oman at the mount of the Persian Gulf.
WTI Crude closed 0.3 percent higher on Thursday at $99.66 per barrel.
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