US crude oil futures rallied almost 2 per cent on Monday as fears of a potential shutdown of Norway's oil production fuelled demand.
Crude for August delivery settled up $1.54 or 1.82 per cent at $85.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading in a range between $84.00 and $86.48.
Before the weekend, hopes had been high that Norwegian oil producers and striking offshore workers would reach an agreement following three weeks of strike action. However by Sunday, talks had broken down and the threat of a complete shut down loomed.
Fears of an oil production shutdown sent Europe's oil benchmark higher too. Brent for August gained $2.13 to $100.32 a barrel on ICE Futures in London.
Norway exports around 1.5m barrels a day to countries such as France the Netherlands.
There were later reports that Norway's labour minister said the government had intervened in the dispute in a bid to avoid a complete shutdown. The news sent oil futures lower in after hours trading.
During normal hours, concern about production shutdown in Norway gave oil prices a shot in the arm and overshadowed Friday's disappointing US jobs figures. Oil futures settled down 3.2% on Friday after the US Labor Department said the economy created just 80,000 new jobs in June compared to an expected creation of 100,000 jobs.
Among precious metals gold firmed 0.7% on Monday, helped by the weaker dollar, but trading volumes remained thinner than usual as traders mulled recent economic data across the globe.
Gold for August delivery climbed $10.20 to settle at $1,589.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Silver for September delivery recovered from Friday's losses, adding 52 cents to settle at $27.44 an ounce.
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NETbuilder and Interactive Data.
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