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Oil edges higher on upbeat Chinese growth data

AFP | Last Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 - 09:55

Singapore: Oil prices rose in Asian trade today on upbeat economic growth data from China, but concerns over the stop-gap deal to avert a disastrous US debt default capped gains, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in November, was up 12 cents at USD 100.79 a barrel in mid-morning trade, while Brent North Sea crude for December gained 12 cents to USD 109.23.

China today said its economy expanded 7.8 per cent year- on-year in July-September, snapping two quarters of slowing growth in the world's top energy consuming nation.

"The price support for oil right now is probably due to the stronger Chinese growth data," David Lennox, resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, told AFP.

He added that gains were capped by worries about developments in the United States, after a last-gasp deal by lawmakers on Thursday averted a disastrous debt default by the world's biggest economy.

A bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama restarted government operations after a 16-day partial shutdown, and raises the country's debt ceiling until February 7. However, there are fears of another stand-off in Washington when that time is up.

"Investors are probably fretting over the lack of information on US crude demand with no weekly crude stockpiles reports from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) during the shutdown," Lennox said.

The EIA said on its website Thursday that it would resume its weekly stockpiles report -- a barometer for US energy demand -- on October 23.

First Published: Friday, October 18, 2013 - 09:55
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