Oil back above $100

Updated: 2012-01-18 05:59


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NEW YORK - Oil price rose and returned to $100 a barrel on Tuesday after China announced economic growth data in fourth quarter, overcoming negativity of several European countries' credit ratings downgrades on Jan 13.

China's economic growth slowed to an annualized 8.9 percent, the slowest pace since mid-2009, but still beat the expectations of 8.7 percent. The economic data helped to lift the optimism in market.

Meanwhile, Empire State Manufacturing Survey showed manufacturing activity in the New York region picked up in January, rising from 9.53 to 13.48, the highest level in nine months, keeping in line with the trend of modest improvement in US economic data.

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said that oil at $100 a barrel is acceptable to the country. His comments also helped to support the oil price on Tuesday.

Light, sweet crude for February delivery gained $2.01, or 2 percent to settle at $100.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  

In London, Brent crude for March delivery was slightly up and last traded around $111 a barrel, gaining 0.2 percent.