Oil prices rose on Wednesday as China’s factory output and retail sales beat expectations, a day after the International Energy Agency (IEA) raised its oil demand growth forecast for this year.
Brent futures were up 20 cents, or 0.2%, at $82.67 a barrel by 04:27 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 15 cents, or 0.2%, at $78.28 a barrel.
Encouragingly for the world’s second-largest economy, China’s October economic activity was buoyed as industrial production rose faster and retail sales growth beat expectations.
IEA sees oil demand remaining healthy. It raised its forecast because consumption in China was better than expected.
The IEA joined with the expectations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) in raising its oil demand growth forecast for this year, despite forecasts of slower economic growth in many major countries.
Expectations that the US Federal Reserve might lower interest rates next spring caused the US dollar to fall to a two-and-a-half-month low against other currencies. A weak dollar could increase oil demand by making crude oil cheaper for buyers using other currencies.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its oil inventory report on Wednesday. EIA did not release an oil stock report last week due to the system upgrade.
Analysts estimate that energy companies added about 1.8 million barrels of crude oil to U.S. inventories in the week ending Nov. 10, in line with the American Petroleum Institute (API) announcement on Tuesday.