NEW YORK, Jan. 30 -- Crude prices rose on Tuesday as U.S. positive housing data bolstered market sentiment.
Investors confidence in U.S. economy, the largest one in the world, was boosted after the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, a broadly watched housing indicator, showed that home prices rose 5.5 percent in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas in November. It was the biggest year-over-year increase in six years.
The upbeat economic report added to signs of a recovering housing market and outweighed a separate report from the Conference Board that showed U.S. consumer confidence index dropped to 58.6 in January, the lowest since November 2011, as higher payroll taxes took a bigger bite out of Americans' paychecks.
Besides, the Federal Reserve began a two-day monetary meeting on Tuesday, which market analysts expected to keep the interest rates at record lows to offer further help to the economy.
Financial market was also optimistic about the first estimates for U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter that was scheduled to be released on Wednesday, which also helped push up oil prices.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery gained 1.13 dollars, or 1. 17 percent to settle at 97.57 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the highest settlement since Sept. 17.
Brent crude for March delivery rose 88 cents, or 0.78 percent to close at 114.36 dollars a barrel, the highest finish since Oct. 15.