The price of oil rose more than 1 percent on encouraging manufacturing data from the U.S. and China.
Benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery rose $1.10, or 1.2 percent, at $93.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
U.S. manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2½ years, as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy clip. Chinese manufacturing continued to grow slightly last month, a survey showed, evidence that growth in the world’s No. 2 economy was continuing, albeit at a modest pace.
China’s leaders are counting on a continuing recovery to avoid the need for further stimulus. China’s economic growth rose to 7.8 percent in the third quarter, after slumping to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in the previous three months.
In the U.S., manufacturing activity has now expanded for six straight months after hitting a rough patch in the spring. The steady gains suggest that growth is remaining solid in the current October-December quarter.
Traders are also looking ahead as delegates from some of the world’s key oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria, meet Wednesday at OPEC headquarters in Vienna.
An estimate from analysts at JBC Energy in Vienna showed OPEC’s crude output fell to 29.44 million barrels a day in November, the lowest since May 2011 and the third straight month with output below 30 million. Most of the difference was attributed to production and export snags in Libya, where political volatility and the effects of the 2011 civil war continue to affect the oil industry.
In the U.S., the average price for a gallon of gasoline held steady at $3.28. But analysts believe prices will decline after a 10-cent increase near the end of November.
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at GasBuddy.com, says drivers should start to notice declines in the next day or two, particularly in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states.
Meanwhile, Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, jumped $1.76 to $111.45 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
- Wholesale gasoline gained 2 cents to $2.68 a gallon.
- Heating oil rose 2 cents to $3.05 a gallon.
- Natural gas rose 3 cents to $3.99 per 1,000 cubic feet.