Oil prices remain focused on Euro zone liquidity crisis solutions

Oil futures gained last Friday, taking weekly gains to 4.3% after seesawing for most of the session as investors were concerned ahead of an euro zone summit next week.

Crude oil futures for January delivery advanced 76 cents, or 0.8%, to end at $100.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was oil’s highest settlement since November 16. So far, oil has posted weekly gains for seven out of nine past weeks.

Boosted by tension over Iran’s nuclear program along with the joint central bank efforts to help sort out the liquidity crisis in Europe, crude for January delivery posted its first weekly gain in three weeks.

Positive economic data from the U.S., along with another slide in crude inventories pushed the price of a barrel over $100 and contributed to its rally. An unexpected decrease in U.S. unemployment rate fuelled optimism over the world’s largest oil consumer’s economic recovery. Market players continue to monitor the pace of U.S. recovery, because of the close relation it has to the price of crude.

However, increasing demand for the USD offset the rally in crude. Despite the good employment numbers, economists remain wary about the outlook due to a sudden decrease in the American labor force. Analysts also believe that recent gains are inflated, because of supply shortfalls caused from tensions over Iran.

Recent speculation of the Eurozone moving a step closer to resolving the sovereign debt crisis also provided support to the oil price.

Looking forward, oil prices will remain focused on talks that emerge from the meetings in Europe.

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