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Crude Up On China Data

The price of crude oil was recovering from its 3-week low Friday morning after data revealed expansion of manufacturing activity in China, the commodity hungry nation.

China's manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in 14 months in December amid a build-up in new orders, preliminary results of a survey by Markit Economics revealed. The headline HSBC/Markit purchasing managers' index rose to 50.9 in December from 50.5 in November. This was the highest reading in 14 months.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for January delivery, added $0.85 to $86.74 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled lower on continued demand growth concerns despite some upbeat macroeconomic data out of the world's largest economy

This morning, the U.S. dollar was trading near its one-week low versus the euro and a 5-week low against sterling. The buck was hovering near its 9-month high versus the yen and flat against the Swiss franc.

In economic news, euro zone inflation slowed as estimated to 2.2 percent in November from 2.5 percent in October, final data from Eurostat showed. On a monthly basis, prices fell 0.2 percent. The decrease largely reflects slowdown in energy price growth to 5.7 percent annually from 8 percent.

Survey results from the Markit Economics showed that the euro zone private sector contracted at a slower pace as Germany recovered at the end of the year. The composite Purchasing Managers' Index rose to a nine-month high of 47.3 in December, from 46.5 in November.

Germany's private sector expanded in December after contracting for eight straight months, underpinned by service sector recovery, Markit Economics said. The flash composite output index came in at 50.5 in December, an improvement on November's 49.2.

Traders will look to the inflation data from the U.S. Labor Department, due out at 8.30 a.m ET. Economists expect the headline index to have declined by 0.2 percent, while the core reading may have risen 0.2 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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