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Oil rises on Chinese manufacturing survey

BANGKOK--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 U.S. cents to US$86.81 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped US$1.98 to finish at a three-month low of US$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 US$108.60 per barrel in London.

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