Oil rises towards $112 on signs of China growth
London, December 3, 2012
Oil rose towards $112 per barrel on Monday on signs economic growth in China, the world's second-biggest oil consumer, was starting to recover while rising tension in the Middle East lent further support.
Activity in China's manufacturing sector quickened for the first time in 13 months in November, a survey of private factory managers found, adding to evidence of a pickup after seven quarters of slowing growth.
"Crude oil prices are beginning the new week of trading up thanks to positive economic data from China," said Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank. "The geopolitical tensions in the Middle East are also playing their part."
Brent futures were up 20 cents at $111.43 per barrel by 1133 GMT, after rising 2.3 per cent in November. US crude fell 4 cents to $88.87 per barrel.
Turmoil in the Middle East also supported oil. Egypt's top court shut down over Islamist protests and Syrian forces pounded rebel-held suburbs around Damascus with fighter jets on Sunday.
"The on-going Syrian tension, the tentative Israel-Hamas ceasefire... and the rift over the new Egyptian constitution... it is not hard to see why geopolitics are supportive," Tamas Varga, an oil analyst at brokers PVM Oil Associates in London, said in a research note.
The HSBC Purchasing Managers Survey (PMI), which focuses on private export-oriented manufacturers, rose to 50.5 in November, inching above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction for the first time in 13 months.
Investors will now be awaiting China's industrial output and trade data later this month for further confirmation of revival in the world's biggest energy consumer.
Concern over the United States' fiscal deficit and talks on the upcoming fiscal cliff, a $600 billion package of tax hikes and spending cuts which may plunge the world's biggest economy into deep recession, kept oil price gains in check.
"It's the main downside risk for prices as it could increase risk-aversion, push up the US dollar and therefore weigh on commodities prices and also on oil prices," Fritsch said.
The package takes effect at the end of the year and President Barack Obama's administration and congressional leaders are trying to work toward a deficit reduction in the next session of Congress that begins in January.
Investors are also awaiting economic data from the United States, specifically on employment, to assess the health of the nation's labour market. – Reuters
More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories
- Missing jet may have strayed to Andaman
- Gold hits near 6-month high
- 2 killed in Manhattan building blast
- Cameron pushes for travel bans on Russian MPs
- Indian coastguards join Malaysia jet search
- Confusion as search for lost jet spreads
- Military denies lost plane's flight to Malacca
- Investors monitoring Pimco after internal strife
- N Korea tanker ‘leaves Libya rebel port carrying oil’
- Malaysia plane incident not terror related: Interpol
- Crimea closes air space to commercial flights
- Missing Malaysian plane last seen At Malacca Strait
- Stolen passport holder on missing plane is Iranian
- China deploys 10 satellites to search for Malaysia jet
- Libya says halts tanker outside port; rebels deny it
- Libya orders military force to 'liberate' ports
- Big bananas: Chiquita, Fyffes merge
- Radar sweeps, dozens of aircraft, but no sign of plane
- N Korea tanker loads oil at Libya rebel port
- Gold drops as US growth optimism weighs
- Merkel raps Putin; Russia tightens grip on Crimea
- World 'at sea' over missing Malaysian jetliner
- Passports requiring probe were on Malaysia flight
- 40 killed in Yemen as Houthi fighters near capital
- Vietnam finds object in sea; search on
- $5bn poll spend to boost India economy
- Libya authorises use of force against Korean tanker
- Ukraine PM says he will go to US to discuss crisis
- Syrian journalist killed covering fighting
- Malaysian jet may have turned back before vanishing