Crude prices headed up in Asia Thursday as traders cheered official Chinese data showing inflation slipping to a two-and-a-half-year low last month, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, gained 22 cents to $93.57 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for September delivery added seven cents to $112.21.
Data released earlier Thursday showing China’s inflation easing to its lowest level since January 2010 had seized traders’ attention, said Justin Harper, market strategist for IG Markets Singapore.
“Obviously that the fact that the inflation’s eased… has opened the door to stimulus which will be good for all commodities including oil,” he told AFP.
Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed the country’s consumer price index (CPI) rising 1.8 percent year-on-year in July, with the low rate allowing the government more leeway to boost weakening growth.
“There’s nothing holding (China) back from some policy easing initiatives which will see commodities spike up,” Harper added.
The economy of China, the world’s largest energy consumer, grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter, its worst performance since the height of the global economic crisis in 2008-2009.
Authorities this year have taken measures including the rare step of slashing interest rates twice in quick succession, while also lowering requirements for how much money banks must keep in reserve.