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Oil prices move higher despite Chinese growth data
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Oct 18, 2011

Oil prices made a jump late Tuesday to finish sharply higher, following stock markets upward despite data showing China's economy slowed in the last quarter.

Prices got a late-day boost as well by a report that France and Germany had agreed to boost the EU rescue fund to 2.0 trillion euros ($2.74 trillion), adding confidence that European leaders would take firm action on the eurozone crisis this weekend.

Steady buying on the New York Mercantile Exchange sent the main contract -- WTI light sweet crude for delivery in November -- up $1.96 from late Monday to $88.34 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December added 99 cents to $111.15.

Oil had fallen in earlier trade after China said its economic growth slowed to a still-impressive 9.1 percent in the third quarter, trimmed in part by government efforts to tame inflation and the turbulence in Europe and the US.

"Chinese GDP third-quarter figures indicated the country grew at the slowest rate in two years at 9.1 percent year-on-year, falling short of forecasts," said Sucden analyst Myrto Sokou.

"However, we received some better than expected retail sales and industrial output figures that offset concerns about a serious slowdown in the Chinese economy."

Meanwhile the International Energy Agency warned that the global energy industry needs $38 trillion in investment by 2035 as it becomes increasingly difficult -- and costly -- to extract fuel, the said Tuesday.

The figure, equal to $1.5 trillion a year, is about 15 percent higher than the IEA's previous forecast, chief economist Fatih Birol said during a gathering of energy ministers and industry bosses in Paris.

"It's a huge figure because (as) the cost of production increases in many parts of the world, it's getting more and more difficult to extract energy, that's why our numbers have increased substantially," he said.

"If we don't find that money, the production will not grow as much as it needs to grow, with the result (that) one can see much higher prices than one can see today."

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