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Crude up in Asia as China reports stable growth

Crude up in early trade in Asia as the market looks towards a July 24 OPEC meeting.

Investing.com - U.S. Crude edged higher in Asia on Monday as China released stable GDP growth data and a choppy market on supply concerns ahead of a July 24 meeting of OPEC an allies on the state of play for production cuts.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for August contract rose 0.17% to $46.62 a barrel, while on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery was last quoted at $49.00.

China released second quarter GDP growth with a gain of 1.7% that matched expectations and a year-on-year increase of 6.9% that came in slighltly higher than the expected 6.8%. At the same time, China reported industrial production gained 7.6% from a year earlier in June and retail sales rose 11% in June.

AUD/USD traded at 0.7823, down 0.09% with China a top trading partner for energy, metal and food commodities, while USD/JPY changed hands at 112.44, down 0.09% as well.

Last week, oil prices settled higher for the fifth session in a row on Friday, to score a weekly gain of roughly 5% as investors cheered data suggesting that demand for oil will pick up during the second half of 2017.

Reports of accelerating demand growth from the International Energy Agency, crude oil import growth in China and falling crude stocks in the U.S. aided sentiment.

Despite recent gains, concerns over rising global supplies remained on investors' minds.

U.S. drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, energy services company Baker Hughes announced on Friday. This brings the total count up to 765, the most since April 2015, underlining concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market.

In May, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended a deal to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018.
So far, the production-cut agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria.

OPEC member Kuwait said on Friday it would be premature to cap Nigerian and Libyan oil production as the two African countries' output needed to stabilize further.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for August jumped 3.4 cents, or about 2.3%, to end at $1.560 on Friday, for a weekly gain of around 4.1%.

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