Benchmark oil for August delivery inched up to US $80.5 in electronic trading on the Nymex. The contract rose 85 cents to settle at US$80.21 in New York on Wednesday. In London, Brent crude for August delivery inched up to $93.5 on the ICE Futures exchange.
Oil prices have risen in Asia amid signs the U.S. economy may be improving. On Wednesday, the U.S. said durable goods orders rose by 1.1% in May, reversing a two-month drop. Pending home sales also jumped in May.