SINGAPORE- Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade Tuesday as caution returned after a weak rally spurred by upbeat industrial production data from China, the world’s top energy consuming nation, analysts said.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery advanced 30 cents to $83.01 a barrel in afternoon trade, but Brent crude for December reversed earlier gains and fell three cents to $85.37.
Daniel Ang, investment analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore, said investors were cheered after China said industrial production, which measures output at factories, workshops and mines, rose 8.0 percent year-on-year in September. That was a rebound from a more than five year low of 6.9 percent in August.
He added that the figure overshadowed data showing China’s economy grew in the third quarter at its slowest pace since the depths of the global financial crisis.
“Industrial production is a good indication of crude oil demand from China,” he told AFP, although he added that it remained to be seen whether this would be sustained in the coming months.
Despite the latest gains, analysts have warned oil prices still face downward pressure owing to an oversupply of crude and reduced demand from the slowing global economy. Brent is struggling at around four-year lows and WTI is at levels last seen in 2012.