UPDATE 10-Oil posts first monthly rise since August

Robert Gibbons and Matthew Robinson
Reuters Middle East

* U.S. lawmakers continue to struggle to get budget deal

* Political crisis in Egypt stokes geopolitical concerns

* Coming up: CFTC trader commitments data, 3:30 p.m. EST

(Updates with settlement prices)

NEW YORK, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Oil rose on Friday, notching

its first monthly gain since August, as the market continued to

balance risks to demand from the U.S. budget standoff against

concerns about disruption to Middle East supplies.

International benchmark Brent crude posted a 2.3 percent

gain for November when fresh hostilities between Israel and

Palestinian militants and unrest in Egypt stirred worries about

global supplies, already affected by export disruptions in the

North Sea and Nigeria.

Lingering concern about the struggling economy and its

impact on fuel consumption weighed on prices at times during the

month. Over the past week, the focus shifted to efforts by U.S.

lawmakers to reach a budget deal and avoid the so-called fiscal

cliff -- $600 billion in automatic budget reductions and

expiring tax cuts at the end of 2012 that could send the world's

top oil consumer into recession.

Trade was choppy and light on Friday as the market remained

gripped on the latest turns in the budget standoff.

Democrat President Barack Obama accused a "handful of

Republicans" in the House of Representatives of trying to

preserve tax cuts for the wealthy by holding up legislation to

extend tax cuts for middle-class Americans. Speaker of the House

John Boehner, a Republican, said the sides were at a stalemate.

Front-month Brent crude gained 47 cents on the day

to settle at $111.23 a barrel, pushing over the 50-day moving

average of $110.57 a barrel. The front month had closed October

at $108.70 a barrel.

U.S. crude gained 84 cents to settle at $88.91 a

barrel, breaking through the 50-day moving average of $88.63 a

barrel and bringing prices up 3.1 percent for the month. Buying

picked up ahead of the settlement, hitting an intraday high of

$88.99 a barrel.

"You don't want to be too short going into the weekend with

all the geopolitical risk out there," said Phil Flynn, analyst

at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians protested against President

Mohamed Mursi on Friday after an Islamist-led assembly raced

through approval of a new constitution in a bid to end a crisis

over the Islamist leader's newly expanded powers.

December RBOB gasoline prices edged down nearly 1

percent ahead of the contract's expiry on Friday, snapping two

months of sharp spikes in the front-month contract before it

headed off the board.

Low inventory levels in September and supply concerns near

the October close due to disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy

helped drive the expiring contract higher during those months,

and market players said those worries may have eased in


"(There) may have been long bets or supply hedges

attributable to Hurricane Sandy disruption to New York Harbor

facilities, which have mostly cleared, and the players decided

they don't need barrels from futures contracts this month," said

John Kilduff, partner at hedge fund Again Capital LLC in New

York, speaking about December RBOB's dip at the expiry.


Traders were also factoring in data showing U.S. consumer

spending fell in October for the first time in five months as

personal income remained unchanged, suggesting economic growth

could be slower in the fourth quarter.

In a report on Thursday, U.S. GDP growth in July-September

was revised up to 2.7 percent from an initial reading of 2.0

percent as restocking by businesses provided a big boost, but

consumer and business spending were revised lower.

(Reporting by Robert Gibbons and Matthew Robinson in New York;

Christopher Johnson in London; Luke Pachymuthu in Singapore;

Editing by David Gregorio and Bob Burgdorfer)

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