Investing.com – Oil prices rose on Friday in Asia amid strong U.S. GDP data and Chinese Caixin data.
U.S. was up 0.7% at $57.63 per barrel by 1:34 AM ET (06:34 GMT). International also gained 0.9% to $66.89 per barrel.
The gains came on the back of U.S. data which showed a seasonally-adjusted annual growth of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, as traders hoped a faster growth might make for a pickup in oil demand.
On Wednesday, WTI jumped 2.6% after the latest weekly energy data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a slump in domestic crude inventories that validated OPEC’s production cuts. The producer group’s defiance of U.S. President Donald Trump’s bid to make it ease up on production cuts also boosted the market.
Crude prices rose as much as 8% in February, extending their gains from January’s rally.
On Friday, prices were also supported by the better-than-expected Chinese .
The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 49.9 for February, higher than the expected 48.5 and last month’s 48.3.
The report raised optimisms that demand from China, the world’s biggest oil importer, might pick up soon.
Meanwhile, oil exports In Venezuela have plunged by 40% to around 920,000 barrels per day (bpd) since the U.S. government imposed sanctions against its petroleum industry in late January, according to a Reuters report.
However, a Reuters poll also showed analysts expect global fuel demand to slow this year amid a broad economic slowdown.
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