Investing.com - Crude oil futures rose to the highest level in two weeks on Monday as economic data releases pointed to a stronger demand outlook from the world’s top three oil consuming nations.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil futures for delivery in July were up 1.25% to $103.94, the highest price since May 28.
Data on Sunday showed that China''s crude imports fell to 6.16 million barrels a day in May from April''s record high of 6.8 million barrels a day, but were still 9% higher on a year-over-year basis.
Chinese exports gathered momentum last month on the back of stronger global demand, rising at an annualized rate of 7% after a 0.9% increase in April. China is the world’s second-largest oil-consuming nation.
The data came after Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for May indicated that the labor market is continuing to improve, with employment returning to its pre-recession peak.
Oil prices received an additional boost after data on Monday showed that Japan’s first quarter growth was revised sharply higher. The U.S. and Japan are the world’s largest and third-largest oil-consuming nations, respectively.
Investors were looking ahead to Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as reports from the International Energy Agency and the U.S. Energy Information Administration later in the week.
Meanwhile, Brent oil for August delivery was up 1.04% to $108.99 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at $5.05.
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