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Oil boils on upbeat US data

28 June 2013, 09:00AFP

London - Global oil prices rose Thursday, extending the previous day's gains on the back of upbeat economic data in top crude consuming nation the United States.

The market won more support on easing concerns over China's liquidity crisis, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August gained $1.50 to $103.18 a barrel in London late afternoon deals.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for August, added 28 cents at $95.78 a barrel.

The oil market also rallied as Wall Street pushed higher for a third day, with bond yields fell again on easing worries that the Federal Reserve will soon cut back its stimulus program.

Data releases suggested US economic growth remains at a moderate pace: consumer spending rebounded in May from April's fall, incomes were higher, inflation pressures remain low, new jobless claims were slightly improved, and pending home sales were strong.

"Crude oil prices have enjoyed somewhat of a pick-up in the wake of this afternoon's US data," said analyst Michael Hewson at traders CMC Markets in London.

The gains tracked a similar uptick in Asian equity markets after the US Commerce Department slashed the estimate of first quarter growth from 2.4 percent to 1.8 percent on Wednesday.

The market took the weaker economic data to mean the Fed will maintain its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying programme.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke last week said the US central bank could begin to wind down the bond purchases if the economy continued to improve.

Prices were also supported by assurances from China that it would move in to stabilise a liquidity crisis that had gripped the country's financial markets.

The People's Bank of China said Tuesday it had made money available to some firms in a bid to prevent a cash crunch that had sent shares into a tailspin.

"The gloom over the Chinese money market has eased, and is having a positive effect on oil prices," McCarthy said.


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