U.S. crude oil made a late rally to end higher Monday, notwithstanding demand growth concerns after some disappointing macroeconomic data from China, the world's second largest economy. Investors remained optimistic over the upcoming Federal Reserve policy meet and the oil inventory data due later in the week.
There were also news reports on concerns expressed by the Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi over the burgeoning oil prices. Al-Naimi indicated that his country will take necessary steps to stabilize oil prices, but the Saudi stand did little to dampen oil prices.
Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for October delivery gained $0.12 or 0.1 percent to close at $96.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday.
Crude prices scaled a high of $96.63 a barrel intraday and a low of $95.34.
Last week, oil ended higher after the European Central Bank announced the much awaited, new bond-buying program to help troubled economies of the euro area. Oil prices were also aided by the Energy Information Administration's weekly report that indicated a more-than-expected decline in U.S. crude inventories.
The euro traded lower against the dollar at $1.2785 on Monday, as compared to $1.2811 late Friday in North America. The euro scaled a high of $1.2811 intraday and a low of $1.2770.
The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. unit against six major currencies, pared gains to still trade higher at 80.26 on Monday, from 80.17 in North American trade late Friday. The dollar scaled a high of 80.38 intraday and a low of 80.20.
China's annual inflation rose to 2 percent, in line with expectations, from 1.8 percent in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday. Food inflation climbed to 3.4 percent from 2.4 percent, while non-food prices gained 1.4 percent. Month-on-month, consumer prices moved up 0.6 percent in August, the fastest increase since the start of the year. The producer price index declined by a faster-than-expected 3.5 percent from a year ago, compared to a 2.9 percent drop in July. Economists expected a 3.2 percent drop.
China's industrial output grew 8.9 percent year-on-year in August, the smallest expansion since May 2009 and less than the 9.2 percent growth logged in July. Economists anticipated a 9 percent rise.
China's exports grew 2.7 percent year-on-year in August, slightly weaker than the 2.9 percent growth forecast by economists. Imports fell 2.6 percent year-on-year against expectations for a 3.5 percent gain. The trade balance showed a surplus of $26.66 billion, while economists expected a surplus of $19.5 billion.
From the eurozone, Portugal's trade deficit declined during three months to July, with exports advancing 8.3 percent from a year ago, while imports fell 6.5 percent during May to July. As a result, trade deficit narrowed to EUR 1.99 billion.
Chinese auto sales grew 8.3 percent in August from a year ago, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Monday. Sales of vehicles totaled 1.5 million units.
by RTT Staff Writer
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