Crude oil was extending gains Friday morning as economic growth in China, the world's second-largest crude consumer, came in line with analyst estimates.
China's economic growth eased to a three-year low of 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The outcome was almost in line with economists' expectations of 7.7 percent expansion.
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for August delivery, were adding $1.17 to $87.25 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled higher after the International Energy Agency raised its oil demand growth forecast and investors weighed some crucial initial jobless claims data which showed first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped by 26,000 last week, the lowest in over four years.
This morning, the U.S. dollar was hovering around its 2-year high versus the euro and near a one- month high against sterling. The buck was trading flat flat versus the yen and the Swiss franc.
The euro was under pressure after Moody's Investors Service on downgraded Italy's credit rating by two notches, citing contagion risk from Greece and Spain, higher funding costs and a deteriorating economic outlook.
by RTT Staff Writer
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