BANGKOK (AP) — Robust retail sales in the U.S. ahead of the Christmas holiday helped boost the price of oil above $88 a barrel today.
Benchmark oil for January delivery was up 32 cents to $88.06 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 54 cents to close at $87.74 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.
Holiday shopping in the U.S. got off to a brisk start over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, with a record 247 million shoppers visiting stores and websites — a 9.2 percent increase over last year. Total spending over the four-day weekend totaled $59.1 billion, up 12.8 percent from 2011.