Oil price rises on Chinese manufacturing survey

Oil price rises after survey suggests Chinese economic slowdown may be stabilizing

Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) -- The price of oil rose Wednesday after a survey of Chinese manufacturing suggested that a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy might be stabilizing.

Benchmark oil for December delivery was up 14 cents to $86.81 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.98 to finish at a three-month low of $86.67 on Tuesday.

The fall Tuesday was sparked by a slew of disappointing earnings and forecasts released Tuesday by U.S. corporate giants. Revenue fell compared with a year ago at chemical maker DuPont, UPS and Xerox and others.

But sentiment improved after HSBC Inc. released a preliminary version of its monthly China purchasing managers' index, which rose to a three-month high of 49.1. That still was below the 50-point level that indicates a contraction in manufacturing but was a strong improvement from September's 47.9.

China's government has cut interest rates twice since June and is pumping money into the economy through higher investment by state companies and more spending on building subways and other public works.

"There is a lot of interest in Chinese data right now. I think some of the signals have been pretty mixed, and market participants are still swaying as to whether the stimulus influence of the last few months has been able to improve conditions on the ground," said Natalie Rampono, commodities analyst at ANZ Banking Group in Melbourne, Australia.

Brent crude rose 35 cents to $108.60 per barrel in London. In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.041 per gallon.

— Natural gas fell 2.1 cents to $3.514 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Wholesale gasoline rose 1.8 cents to $2.609 per gallon.

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