London – Brent oil rose on Tuesday as strong European economic data and a year-on-year increase in Chinese crude imports outweighed concerns about Asia’s economic growth.
German exports in July climbed 2.4 per cent on the month and imports grew by 2.2 per cent, both hitting their highest values on record.
The euro zone economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter, data showed on Tuesday.
The zone’s gross domestic product was up 1.5 per cent year-on-year versus a previous reading of 1.2 per cent.
Brent futures were up 80 cents at 48.43 dollars a barrel.
U.S. crude was at 45.05 dollars a barrel, down 1.00 dollar since Friday’s close, broadly in line with the overall movement of Brent from Friday.
Marketsin the United States were closed on Monday for a national holiday.
U.S. crude was weighed down by the closure of the largest crude distillation unit at ExxonMobil Corp’s 502,500-barrels-per-day (bpd) Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery.
In China, crude oil imports fell 13.4 per cent in August to 6.29 million bpd from the previous month. But they rose 5.6 per cent from a year earlier.
In the first eight months of 2015, China’s crude imports were up 9.8 per cent year-on-year, on still-solid demand for gasoline and kerosene.
Asian and European stocks rose on Tuesday.
The dollar has also fallen against a basket of currencies since the end of last week, making oil less expensive for holders of other currencies.
Despite calls from some OPEC members for cuts to the group’s output, Saudi Arabian crude production is likely to stay around current levels in the fourth quarter of this year.
A decline in domestic crude burning for power generation is expected to be offset by a seasonal rise in global demand.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Longson said oil prices should remain range-bound and low well into 2016 before starting to recover.
He said crude oversupply had been overstated and would average only 700,000 bpd in 2015 compared with demand growth of about 2.1 million bpd in the year to date.
“Nevertheless, new supply from Iran in (the first half of 2016) should keep the market oversupplied,” Longson said. (Reuters/NAN)