Oil rises on improvement in German exports, Chinese economic data

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Oil prices rose slightly Monday on a surprise expansion of German exports and signs of increased oil consumption in China.

The German government said exports from Europe's biggest economy rose slightly in October after losing ground the month before. They were 10.6 per cent higher than October a year earlier.

In China, the world's second-largest economy after the United States, crude imports last month were the highest in half a year. The company also refined more than 10 million barrels per day for the first time, noted Tradition Energy's Addison Armstrong, as the number of cars on the road increased.

The oil demand data was released a day after another set of figures showed that China's industrial production and retail sales exceeded expectations in November.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose 28 cents to US$86.21 in New York. The contract lost 3.4 per cent last week.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, rose 86 cents to US$107.88 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

Among other energy futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange, heating oil was flat at US$2.92 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), wholesale gasoline rose two cents to US$2.62 a gallon and natural gas 13 cents to $3.42 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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