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Crude prices rise in Asia on US, China data

Crude prices rose in Asia on Friday, buoyed by an unexpected narrowing of the US trade deficit and slowing Chinese inflation, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December gained 31 cents to $85.40 a barrel in the afternoon while Brent North Sea crude for December was up 15 cents to $107.40.

Hopes that the US economy is on the mend were boosted after data Thursday showed the trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in September, from $43.8 billion in August, thanks to a rebound in exports to a record level.

Analysts had forecast the deficit would widen to $45.4 billion.

"The unexpected narrowing in the trade deficit in September opens the door to a modest upward revision to third-quarter real GDP growth," Capital Economics said in a report.

In China, National Bureau of Statistics data on Friday showed inflation in the world's largest energy consumer slowed to 1.7 percent year-on-year in October.

"The easing inflationary pressure... gives Chinese officials more scope to implement measures should the global situation deteriorate further," Jason Hughes, head of premium client management for IG Markets Singapore, told AFP.

"More wiggle room for the world's second largest economy and user of oil can be seen as supportive for the oil price," Hughes added.