Oil prices rise amid positive US, Chinese data

9th August 2012, Comments 0 comments

Crude prices rose on Thursday in the wake of positive US and Chinese economic data and as OPEC raised its outlook for world crude demand growth.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September climbed 53 cents to $112.67 a barrel in late London deals.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for September, gained 38 cents to $93.73.

Official data Thursday showed US weekly jobless claims fell to 361,000 -- another sign of moderate strength in the biggest economy's employment market despite a second-quarter lull in hiring.

The United States is the world's biggest consumer of oil, while China is the largest user of energy.

Official data on Thursday showed China's inflation at 1.8 percent in July, its lowest since January 2010, providing authorities with more leeway to ease Chinese monetary policy to boost the Asian nation's economy.

"Obviously the fact that the inflation's eased... has opened the door to stimulus, which will be good for all commodities, including oil," said Justin Harper, analyst at IG Markets Singapore trading group.

"There's nothing holding (China) back from some policy easing initiatives," he told AFP.

Elsewhere Thursday, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raised its world oil demand forecast to 88.72 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2012.

Demand next year was put at 89.52 mbpd by the 12-nation cartel, which pumps one third of the world's oil.

On Wednesday, oil prices reached the highest levels for almost three months, at $113.27 a barrel in London and $94.72 in New York, on hopes for the US economy and Middle East supply concerns, analysts said.

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© 2012 AFP

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