Oil prices rise on US, China data

1st August 2013, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices rose on Thursday following positive US and Chinese economic indicators that may lead to a boost in demand for crude, according to analysts.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September jumped $1.01 to stand at $108.71 a barrel approaching midday in London.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for September, climbed $1.20 to $106.23 a barrel.

"Oil prices remain supported by the US Fed's clear signal regarding retaining monetary stimulus for now," David Lennox, resource analyst at Fat Prophets, told AFP.

After a two-day meeting, the Fed's policy committee on Wednesday said growth was at a "modest" pace and pledged to keep its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying programme in place for now.

Also on Wednesday, Washington said that gross domestic product grew 1.7 percent in April-June, above the 1.1 percent pace expected by analysts -- although it also included a steep downgrade in growth for the previous three months to 1.1 percent from 1.8 percent.

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

Traders are also keeping an eye on China, where the official purchasing managers' index (PMI) of manufacturing activity rose to 50.3 last month from 50.1 in June, a rare piece of upbeat news from the Asian economic giant, which has been slowing for several months.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while anything above signals growth.

A separate survey by banking giant HSBC released soon after the official data confirmed its own preliminary findings released last week that showed its PMI at 47.7 in July, down from 48.2 in June.

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© 2013 AFP

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