Oil prices climbed on Friday as investors feared that the unrest in Egypt will disrupt oil supplies.
Violence in Egypt continued Friday with thousands of people pouring into the streets to protest. Egypt controls the Suez Canal and the Suez-Mediterranean Pipeline, through which a large amount of crude and refined products were shipped between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. The Middle East accounts for 35 percent of global oil output, according to International Energy Agency.
The Suez Canal Authority, however, said Friday that ship traffic through the waterway was secure and safe.
On the economic front, U.S. homebuilders broke ground on more homes in July boosted by apartment construction, evidence of a recovering property market, the Commerce Department reported on Friday. Data showed U.S. privately-owned housing rose 5.9 percent in July.
U.S. consumer sentiment for August slipped from a six-year high. The preliminary reading on consumer sentiment fell to 80.0 in August from 85.1 in July, according to the Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan index.
Moreover, non-farm business sector labor productivity grew at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of the year, as output increased more rapidly than hours worked, the Labor Department said on Friday.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose 13 cents, to settle at U.S. 107.46 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent for October delivery went up 41 cents, to close at 110.4 dollars a barrel.