Oil near $100 a barrel after US retail data image

Oil prices climbed to near $100 per barrel Tuesday after U.S. retail sales increased more than projected in October. Retail sales increased 0.5 percent from the previous month, the Commerce Department said.

US Department of Commerce figures showed sales rose in a number of sectors, including motor vehicles, electrical goods, and groceries.

Separately, the New York Fed’s “Empire State” general business conditions index rose to 0.61, its strongest reading since May, from minus 8.48 the month before. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a negative reading.

In addition, the Eurozone economy grew by 0.2 percent in the July-September period. However, it’s still expected to fall into recession as countries like Italy and Greece cut spending to reduce debt.
“This is more than enough to keep the economy going,” said said Eric Green, chief U.S. economist at TD Securities in New York.

Crude oil for December delivery rose $1.61, or 1.6 percent, to $99.75 a barrel at 1:43 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures reached $99.80, the highest level since July 26.

On average, U.S. crude stockpiles were forecast down 1.1 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 11, a preliminary Reuters poll of analysts showed.