China manufacturing helps oil prices
By Pamela Sampson, APBANGKOK--Oil prices were higher Thursday, boosted by a survey showing that China's manufacturing is on the upswing.
January 25, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Benchmark oil for March delivery was up 35 U.S. cents to US$95.58 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped US$1.45 to finish at US$95.23 on Wednesday following reports that the amount of oil moving through a key pipeline to the Gulf Coast had been cut in half.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was down 17 U.S. cents to US$112.63 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index, which gauges manufacturing activity, rose for the fifth consecutive month in January to 51.9 from December's 51.5. Readings above 50 on the 100-point scale indicate expansion. More manufacturing means more energy consumption, which should push oil prices higher.
The report is further evidence that China's economy is undergoing a modest recovery from a downturn sparked by the 2008 world financial crisis. The Chinese economy expanded 7.9 percent in the final quarter of last year, up from 7.4 percent in the previous quarter, according to data released earlier this month.