* 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)
By Robert Gibbons and Matthew Robinson
NEW YORK, Nov 30 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.
EYES ON THE ECONOMY
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)