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Oil prices mixed

Oil prices were mixed on Monday as traders awaited data from the United States, the world's leading consumer of crude, due this week.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September fell 20 cents to $108.02 a barrel in London midday deals.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September climbed 10 cents to $106.07 a barrel.

"Investors are optimistic regarding tomorrow's release of retail sales in the US, with many expecting figures to show an increase in activity for the fourth consecutive month," said Sucden brokers oil analyst Kash Kamal.

"For the rest of today crude prices may slip slightly as the lack of macro events leaves many investors side-lined," he added.

WTI crude had jumped $1.15 in New York trading on Friday after China announced that its industrial growth accelerated in July to a five-month high of 9.7 percent year-on-year. Brent rose 75 cents in London trade.

"We are seeing a bit of profit-taking in crude prices after the solid gains made over the positive Chinese data last week," Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP on Monday.

The US government's Energy Information Administration last week forecast that China would overtake the United States as the world's top net oil importer by 2014, fuelled by steady demand growth in the Asian economic powerhouse.

"This may not be a surprise given the growth in China's consumption over the past decade, but it is still a significant shift in the focus of crude performance," Kelly Teoh, market strategist at traders IG Markets , said in a note to clients.

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