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Oil prices up in Asian markets

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SINGAPORE: Oil prices rose in Asian trade today, lifted by positive US housing construction data that suggested the crisis-hit housing market was over the worst, analysts said. New Yorks main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, gained 21 cents to USD 63.77 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for September delivery climbed 27 cents to USD 65.65. Data released Friday by the US Commerce Department showed construction starts on privately owned homes rose 3.6 per cent in June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 582,000, the fastest pace since November. The jump in housing starts was much stronger than the 530,000 pace expected by most analysts and followed a revised 562,000 starts in May, up 30,000 from the initial estimate. "Oil prices drew support from the US housing starts data," the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a report.
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