NEW YORK, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices climbed on Friday as data showed U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in June, bolstering market speculation for U.S. economic growth in the second quarter.
The U.S. Commerce Department announced Friday that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June increased 0.6 percent from the previous month to 457.0 billion U.S. dollars, beating market consensus of a 0.1-percent gain.
Oil prices pared some gains in the afternoon session after a weekly reading showed U.S. oil drilling rig count gained for a consecutive seventh week.
Oilfield services company Baker Hughes said Friday that the number of rigs operating in the U.S. fields rose by 22 to 542 in the week ending July 15.
The West Texas Intermediate for August delivery added 0.27 U.S. dollars to settle at 45.95 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery gained 0.24 U.S. dollars to close at 47.61 U.S. dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. Enditem