Oil prices climb to $77

Oil climbed and hovered around $77 a barrel as the U.S. economy’s demand for crude oil dropped after weak U.S. consumer confidence.

New York’s light sweet crude for delivery in September increased 29 cents to $77.28 a barrel, and Brent North Sea crude for September climbed 28 cents to $76.34 a barrel in Thursday in London.

The U.S. Department of Energy reported crude oil inventories increased to 7.3 billion barrels last week, the strongest weekly increase since October 2008. Supplies of gasoline and distillates including diesel and heating oil experienced an increase as well, although not as great an increase as analysts expected. Gasoline rose to 100,000 barrels, lower than analysts’ 500,000 barrel estimate, and oil and diesel rose by 900,000 barrels, below the analysts’ projections of a 2.1-million gain.