Brent Above $109 On Chinese PMI
Brent crude oil was poised to post its largest weekly gain in two months as positive Chinese data and disruptions in Libya buoyed the commodity's prices. Brent traded at $109.12 at 5:13 GMT on Friday morning.
China's PMI data showed that the nation's manufacturing sector had expanded at its fastest rate in more than a year. Official Purchasing Managers' Index data showed the nation's reading increased to 51.4 in October from 51.1 in September. The reading beat analyst expectations of 51.2 and was well above the 50 point mark which indicates expansion.
The data alleviated some concern about the Chinese economy's recovery starting to crumble. Recent economic indicators from the number two oil consuming nation, including a dip in exports, had many analysts worried about the country's future.
The Chinese economy has grown 7.7 percent in the first nine months of 2013, on track to meet the government's 7.5 percent target, however the worst performance China has had in 23 years. According to CNBC, analysts are expecting to see the Chinese economy grown 7.8 percent in the third quarter and 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
In Libya, protests continue to keep much of the African nation's oil from the market. Labor demonstrations shut down most of Libya's largest oilfields and cut its export capacity to less than half. With no resolution to the Libyan turmoil in sight, many are worried about the commodity's tightening supply. At the moment, the oil industry is at the mercy of top OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia, which will be expected to fill the gap.
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