Crude oil rose in New York for the first time in four days as the dollar weakened, while China confirmed its August net imports were the second highest on record, reported Bloomberg.
Oil climbed above $70 a barrel as the dollar fell against the euro, leading investors to buy oil and gold to hedge their inflation risk.
Official data showed net crude oil imports by China, Asia's largest consumer, rose 18% to 17.92 million metric tons, confirming preliminary figures released on 11 September.
Crude oil for October delivery rose as much as 59¢, or 0.9%, to $70.30 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract, which expires today, was at $70.28 at 2.49pm Singapore time. The more widely traded November futures advanced 59¢ to $70.52 at 2.50pm.
Prices have gained 58% this year on speculation global fuel demand will recover as economies emerge from the recession, while a weakening dollar encouraged investors to buy commodities. Gold snapped a three-day decline, staying above $1,000 an ounce.
China's net crude oil imports in August were second only to the record 19.2 million tons in July.
A weekly US Energy Department report is tomorrow expected to show crude oil inventories declined for a fourth week, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.