Oil prices rose today, as optimistic Chinese data indicated the country's economy is stabilising; however, gains were restricted due to US monetary uncertainty.
Brent crude gained by eight cents to $107.52 a barrel, before touching a high of $107.86, while US oil rose by 16 cents to $104.53 a barrel, reported Reuters.
Investors were encouraged by the data, which showed that China's July imports and exports rose more than expected, with crude shipments hitting a record 6.15 million barrels per day.
Prices were capped by uncertainty over when the US Federal Reserve may taper its monetary stimulus, reducing liquidity that has underpinned global markets.
The move could help the dollar to recover, which would weigh on commodities such as oil, that are priced in the currency.
Oil prices were also capped by other factors, such as easing geopolitical tensions between Iran and the US, as the former signalled its willingness to negotiate and put an end to disputes regarding Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.
North Sea crude exports are also set to rise in September after maintenance work is complete.
Protests have reduced Libya's crude production and exports, as output from Es Sider has been blocked since 6 August 2013, along with production from Amna and Sirtica fields, following strikes at the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf terminals.
Workers at the state-run Arabian Gulf Oil are planning to reduce output gradually in protest over management changes and the company's structure.
Supplies from Iraq are set to fall sharply in September, as southern export terminals are scheduled to undergo maintenance.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report that crude inventories declined by 1.32 million barrels last week, largely in line with the anticipated 1.2 million barrel reduction.
Image: Prices gained after Chinese data indicated the economy was stabilising. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.