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Brent futures settled at more than $109 a barrel today, pairing losses in the earlier session, amid robust manufacturing data from China, which raised hopes of a demand boost from the world’s second largest oil consumer.

Brent crude increased by three cents to hit $109.28 a barrel, while US oil fell by four cents to settle at $104.99 a barrel, reported Reuters.

Private data showed that China’s manufacturing increased to a seven-month high in September, abating investors’ worries of a sharp slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.

Investors are also awaiting PMI survey reports from the euro zone and the US, which are due to be released later today.

The UN General Council is set to hold a meeting this week, where the US-Russian plan to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons would be decided.

Markets worried that any military action in the war-torn country could spread unrest in the Middle East and disrupt supplies from the region.

"Investors are also awaiting PMI survey reports from the euro zone and the US, which are due to be released later today."

A positive tone for US-Iranian relations could possibly have an impact on oil prices, which have been underpinned by a plunge in exports by the OPEC member amid sanctions against its nuclear programme.

In addition, South Sudan has also increased its output to the highest level since exports from Sudan resumed, after a thaw in their relations.

Investors have been kept guessing by the US Federal Reserve about when it would start drawing back its bond purchases, following its surprise decision last week to keep the stimulus programme intact.

The US central bank’s policy meeting in October is most awaited by investors now, as it provides some hints on tapering that could strengthen the dollar and make commodities priced in the greenback less affordable for holders of other currencies.


Image: Brent crude gains amid robust Chinese PMI data. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

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