Investing.com

Investing.com - Crude oil prices gained in Asia on Friday at a slow pace as investors monitor developments in Iraq for the potential of supply disruptions.



On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in August traded at $106.09 a barrel, up 0.04%, after hitting an overnight session low of $105.12 a barrel and a high of $106.38 a barrel.



The July contract expires on Friday. The more-actively traded August contract also rose 0.4% to settle at $106.05 a barrel.



Brent oil on the ICE futures exchange settled up 0.7% at $115.06 a barrel, a fresh nine-month high.



Fighting between Iraqi security forces and Sunni insurgents continued on Thursday, while U.S. President Barack Obama said he stood ready to take "targeted and precise" action to control the violence, while reports that Iran is ready to battle the insurgency sparked fears of a civil war.



Concerns the crisis will escalate and disrupt oil production sent prices higher, though Iraq''s major oilfields still remain far south of the fighting, which capped gains.



Upbeat U.S. data supported the commodity as well.



In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index rose to an eight-month high of 17.8 in June from 15.4 in May. Analysts had expected the index to dip to 14.0 in June.



The data came after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 14 declined by 6,000 to 312,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 318,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 4,000 to 314,000 last week.





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