Crude oil was slightly changed after rising on 15 July as equities rallied and China’s economy showed indications of rebounding from its weakest growth in almost a decade, Bloomberg reported.

Crude oil for August delivery was down 14 cents at $61.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:51am in Singapore.

Earlier, the contract gained as much as 47 cents, or 0.8% to $62.01 a barrel, having 15 July added 3.4% to settle at $61.54.

China’s statistics bureau said that the country’s gross domestic product rose 7.9% in the second quarter of 2009 from a year earlier. That was more than the 7.8% median estimate of 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 256.72 points, or 3.1%, its best gain in three months. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 3% in New York, extending its biggest three-day advance since March 2009.

Crude stockpiles

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By GlobalData

The Energy Department said that US crude inventories dropped 2.81 million barrels to 344.5 million last week.

Crude stockpiles were forecast to drop 2.1 million barrels, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Refineries operated at 87.9% of capacity, the highest since August 2009.

The Energy Department report showed that the gasoline inventories raised 1.44 million barrels to 214.6 million, the highest since April 2009. Supplies were forecast to raise 875,000 barrels.

Gasoline for August 2009 delivery increased as much as 1.1 cent, or 0.6% to $1.7190 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On 15 July the contract increased 6.15 cents, or 3.7%, to end the session at $1.7081.

Brent crude for August 2009 settlement increased 16 cents to $63.25 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe Exchange at 10:19am in Singapore. The contract gained 3.7% on 15 July to $63.09 a barrel.