US crude gained six cents at $86.30 a barrel today as investors focused on the storm Sandy’s rampage across the US East Coast and new data from China, hinting at its recovery.

Latest data from the country indicates an improved industrial activity in the country througout the month of October and it also confirms a trend towards recovering growth.

Investors were also concerned about the uncertain political environment in the world’s two largest oil consumers; the US are preparing to head to the election polls and new Chinese leaders are preparing to takeover leadership of the country.

Brent crude for December delivery fell 20 cents to $108.50 a barrel, reports Reuters.

Meanwhile, Phillips 66 has restored power to its 238,000-barrel-per-day Bayway refinery in New Jersey. However, the timeline for resuming output has not been provided, although sources expect the plant to restart next week, at the earliest.

Investors also looking forward to the weekly oil inventory statistics from the Energy Information Administration, provided on Thursday, after industry data showed a rise of 2.1 million barrels in crude stockpiles last week.

Image: The US East Coast was flooded by storm Sandy’s rampage which led to a reduced fuel demand. Photo courtesy of Jim.henderson.