Crude prices rose on Thursday as U.S. economic data came in positive and continuing unrest in the Middle East caused supplies fears. Market sentiment was boosted after the Commerce Department said U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.7 percent annual rate, much faster than 2.0 percent it estimated last month. It was th quickest quarterly growth rate since the fourth quarter of 2011, helped by faster inventory accumulation and export growth, which offset weak consumer spending and a drop in business investment. Meanwhile, a report from the Labor Department added to the upbeat tone. The report showed U.S. initial jobless claims declined 23,000 in the week ended Nov. 24 to 393,000, as effect of Hurricane Sandy faded. Pending home sales climbed 5.2 percent in October, surging to its highest level in more than five years, according to the National Association of Realtors. Traders were closely watching the situation in the Middle East, in particular the violent protests in Egypt, a fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and the escalation of unrest in Syria, to gauge their potential impact on oil supplies. Investors were also following the \"fiscal cliff\" talks in Washington. Market sentiment, which was lifted during the previous session amid optimism that the so-called \"fiscal cliff\" issue will be resolved, was dampened on Thursday by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner\'s comment that \"no substantive progress\" was made in talks with the White House. Light, sweet crude for January delivery rose 1.58 dollars, or 1. 83 percent, to settle at 88.07 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for January delivery gained 1.25 dollars, or 1.14 percent to finish at 110.76 dollars a barrel.