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Oil prices increased slightly on Tuesday, because of firm Chinese economic data, despite the tightening of supplies because of the collapse of Libyan exports.

Brent was up by 17 cents at $114.50 a barrel, while US crude increased by 20 cents to $107.00, reported Reuters.

Prices were bolstered by better factory data from Europe and China, plus a steady recovery in the US, which hinted at a recovery in the global economy.

The Chinese services sector grew steadily in August as domestic demand picked up, indicating that government measures to bring the country out of its longest slow down are working.

President Barack Obama’s efforts to persuade the Congress in authorising limited action in Syria were met with skepticism from some lawmakers in his own Democratic Party, who are worried a strike could spark a new Middle East conflict.

Meanwhile, Libyan exports are running at less than ten percent of export capacity at less than 100,000 barrels a day, according to a Reuters estimate, as armed groups tighten their grip on the sector.

Investors are now waiting for the US employment data, which is due later this week, and the Federal Reserve’s timing on a rollback in its monetary stimulus, which would help gauge the oil demand in the world’s largest net oil importer.

The US Institute of Supply Management is set to publish its bellwether manufacturing activity report later in the day.


Image: Oil prices dipped on easing Syrian worries. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

Energy