U.S. crude oil price rose on Friday, while the Brent crude fell amid news that the U.S. considered to release strategic petroleum reserves.
U.S. crude prices rose on positive economic signs released on Friday. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary August index of consumer sentiment came in at 73.6, the highest level since May. The reading was much better than most economists had predicted.
The Conference Board's leading economic indicators also showed a gain of 0.4 percent for July, as the jobless claims and building permits improved.
But there were reports saying that the White House was considering to release oil reserve in an effort to drawing the prices off their three-month highs and cutting the fuel costs.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Friday morning that the move is an option. According to another report, the U.S. was closely monitoring gas prices to see if they would fall before the final decision.
News about potential reserve release seemed to have more effect on Brent crude than U.S. crude, causing Brent crude futures to drop. Brent had risen more than 10 percent in August because of supplies concerns, facing the unrest in the Middle East and heavy maintenance in key North Sea oil fields.
To add to more supplies pressure, analysts said oil production would pick up in North Sea, Brent's source, after short-term declines.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery added 41 cents, or 0. 43 percent to settle 96.01 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the first settlement above 96 dollars a barrel since May 11. For this week, it added 3.14 dollars, or 3.38 percent.
In London,Brent crude for October delivery slipped and last traded around 114 dollars a barrel. But for this week, it still posted gains of about 1 percent.