The price of oil rose Tuesday as a government report indicated consumer spending could boost economic growth in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, the price of gasoline continued its decline in August, dropping 1 cent overnight to an average of $3.54.
Benchmark crude for September delivery rose 72 cents to close at $106.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The government said that “core” retail sales, which exclude the volatile auto, gas and building supply categories, rose 0.5 percent in July. It was the biggest such gain since a similar increase in December, and may signal a stronger pace for consumer spending.
U.S. drivers have seen gasoline prices drop by an average of 9 cents so far in August, partly offsetting a 14 cent increase in July. The average price is now 16 cents below where it was this time last year.
Brent crude, traded on the ICE Futures exchange in London, rose 85 cents to $109.82 a barrel.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
- Heating oil rose 3 cents to $3.05 a gallon.
- Wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $2.94 a gallon.
- Natural gas fell 3 cents to $3.29 per 1,000 cubic feet.