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Oil fluctuated in New York as rising Chinese crude imports countered concern that an economic contraction in Japan will reduce fuel consumption.
Futures traded in a $1.05-a-barrel range after China’s net crude purchases rose to the highest level in five months in October. Price retreated after Japan said its economy shrank last quarter as overseas sales and consumer spending slumped.
China’s net crude imports rose to 5.52 million barrels a day in October, also the highest level since May, the General Administration of Customs said Nov. 10 in Beijing. Industrial production was up 9.6 percent in October from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Nov. 9.
Japan’s gross domestic product fell an annualized 3.5 percent in the three months through September, after a revised 0.3 percent gain the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo. A drop of 3.4 percent was the median estimate of economists.
The U.S., China and Japan are the world’s biggest oil- consuming countries, accounting for a combined 37 percent of world demand, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy. The 27 members of the EU were responsible for 16 percent of global oil use in 2011, BP said.
Crude oil for December delivery traded in a range of $85,42 – $86,54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 13 percent this year.
Brent oil for December settlement climbed 48 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $109.88 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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