Oil up in Asia on upbeat China manufacturing data

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SINGAPORE — Oil prices gained in Asia Monday as traders welcomed data indicating a continued economic pick-up in China, the world’s largest energy consumer, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January climbed 29 cents to $86.22 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for January delivery added 39 cents to $107.41.

“Oil is up, it’s really reacting to the positive economic news out of China,” said Victor Shum, managing director for downstream energy consulting at IHS Inc.

“It looks like China has turned the corner and the economy is recovering with their latest manufacturing data,” he told Agence France-Presse.

The National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday released data showing production at China’s factories, workshops and mines rising 10.1 percent year on year in November.

Also on Sunday the statistics bureau said retail sales, China’s main gauge of consumer spending, rose 14.9 percent year-on-year in November.

The result, an improvement from October’s gain of 9.6 percent, has led to optimism that the worst of a slowdown in China — the world’s second biggest economy — may be over.

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