Crude up in Asia on hopes for positive China data

Crude was up in Asia on Friday on expectations that Chinese manufacturing data would show more signs of recovery in the world's largest energy consumer, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January added 38 cents to $86.27 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for January delivery gained 30 cents to $108.21.

Traders were optimistic ahead of the release later in the day of a preliminary index of China's December manufacturing sector by banking giant HSBC, said Victor Shum, managing director at IHS Purvin and Gertz in Singapore.

"Right now what's supporting buying is the expectation that the manufacturing sector in China is going to show a continuing improvement," he told AFP.

"This is really a continuation of the recent data out of China. The economic data so far has suggested a recovering Chinese economy," Shum added.

HSBC's purchasing manager's index for November had showed manufacturing activity in China hitting a 13-month high, signalling a return to growth in the world's second-biggest economy after 12 consecutive months of contraction.

Traders expect the index for this month to rise to 50.8 from 50.5 in November. A number above 50 indicates an expansion.

Beijing's National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday also released data showing production at China's factories, workshops and mines rising 10.1 percent in November compared with the same month last year.

The result was better than October's gain of 9.6 percent.

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