Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose by over one dollar to US$82.5 on the Nymex, while Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange rose to US$82.6. Despite disappointing U.S. economic data, crude oil futures have strengthened, rising above US$82 a barrel – its highest settlement since May. A weaker US dollar has supported the rise, amid expectation that supplies will decrease due to the effect of a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico last month.
Data from the US housing market and manufacturing sector suggested a slow down in the US economy, bringing down the US stock market and other commodity prices. The National Association of Realtors' index for pending sales of used homes decreased 2.6% to 75.7 in June, compared with consensus estimates of no change from May. The drop comes as a federal government subsidy for home buyers was removed. US factory orders fell by 1.2% in June.