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Brent crude rose for a second day on speculation stronger economic growth in China will boost demand from the world's second-biggest oil consumer. West Texas Intermediate slipped in New York.
Futures approached $85 a barrel in London before paring gains. Chinese exports rose more than expected in October, data from the customs administration showed on Nov. 8. The country's crude-oil imports jumped 9.2 percent last month from a year earlier. Crude also gained on escalating tensions in Ukraine. WTI widened its discount to Brent as the dollar strengthened.
"Some of the Chinese numbers have gotten a little bit better," said Bill O'Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, which oversees $2.4 billion. "The increased shelling in Ukraine is probably having a little bit of an impact."
Brent for December settlement rose 46 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $83.85 a barrel at 10:15 a.m. New York time on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after earlier climbing to $84.97. Prices slid for a seventh week through Nov. 7, the longest weekly retreat since 2001. The volume of all futures traded was 1 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
WTI for December delivery slipped 14 cents to $78.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 24 percent above the 100-day average. WTI's discount to Brent widened to $5.27 on the ICE from $4.74 on Nov. 7.
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