Factory activity in China rebounded to highest level in nine months
New York— The price of oil is up slightly on signs China’s manufacturing is getting stronger.
A survey of manufacturers on July 24 suggested factory activity in China rebounded to its highest level in nine months. Worries about weakening demand in China—the world’s No. 2 oil consumer—and Europe’s debt crisis, had pushed down oil prices the past few days.
The HSBC manufacturing index rose to 49.5 from 48.2 for Chinese companies. Anything above 50 suggests the sector is growing.
The manufacturing survey was a good sign, “but the question is sustainability,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst with Price Futures Group. “If Europe’s economy falls apart, who are the Chinese going to export to?”
Benchmark US crude rose 12 cents to US$88.26 per barrel in afternoon trading in New York. Brent crude, which sets the price for imported oil, climbed 28 cents to $103.53 in London.
Natural gas rose 1.1 cents to $3.128 per 1,000 cubic feet. Natural gas prices have jumped this summer to the highest levels since December, though it’s still nearly 30 per cent cheaper than the same time last year.
Heating oil fell less than a penny to $2.8134 per gallon while wholesale gasoline slipped 4.6 cents to $2.8369 per gallon.
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