08 November 2013, News Wires – Brent futures slipped on Friday as China’s crude imports in October fell to the lowest in more than a year, but an improvement in the overall trade numbers stemmed a further slide and kept the contract above $103 per barrel.
Crude imports by the world’s second-biggest oil consumer fell after hitting a record in the previous month as two major plants went into overhauls, suggesting the slide is a one-off.
Yet the more-than-expected rebound in export growth added to a run of indicators suggesting that China’s economy has found its footing.
Brent crude fell 17 cents to $103.29 per barrel by Friday morning, after losing $1.78 overnight. US oil gained 22 cents to $94.42 per barrel, after dropping 60 cents in the previous session.
“The October crude oil numbers are down, but if you look at the broad trade data, it seems the numbers are in line to meet the growth target the government set out to achieve,” Reuters quoted CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner as saying.
“The overall demand growth story seems intact.”
Oil got further support from more civil unrest in Libya, where some of the worst fighting in months broke out in the capital Tripoli on Thursday.
US gross domestic product growth accelerated in the third quarter at a 2.8% annual rate, the quickest pace in a year, after expanding at a 2.5% clip in the second quarter. Economists had expected lower third-quarter growth.
The expansion in consumer spending at the slowest pace in two years still suggested an underlying loss of momentum, resulting in mixed views on if the GDP number would be enough for the Federal Reserve to