NYMEX crude oil gains in Asian trading

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gsr-123654Nymex crude oil futures rose during Asian trading hours on Tuesday amid speculation that demand from China will increase after data pointed to an improvement in Chinese credit growth.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April traded at USD100.54 a barrel during Asian trading, up 0.40%.

On Monday the April contract traded in a range between USD100.52 a barrel and USD100.74 a barrel and ended the session at USD100.13 a barrel.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at USD99.45 a barrel, the low from February 14 and resistance at USD101.38 a barrel, the high from February 12.

Trade volumes remain lighted on Monday, with Nymex floor trading remaining closed for the U.S. President’s Day holiday. All electronic trades placed will register on Tuesday, when the market resumes normal trading hours.

Data released over the weekend showed that Chinese aggregate financing, the broadest measure of credit, rose to a record-high of CNY2.58 trillion in January.

The report also showed that bank lending rose to a four-year high of CNY1.32 trillion last month, easing concerns over tightening liquidity levels.

China is the world’s second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand.

Gains were limited amid concerns that the U.S. economic recovery has lost momentum since the end of last year as inclement winter weather weighed on growth.

Data on Friday showed that U.S. industrial production fell 0.3% from a month earlier in January, compared to expectations for a 0.3% gain.

This disappointing data came one day after the Commerce Department said that retail sales fell 0.4% in January, confounding expectations for a 0.3% increase.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for April delivery rose 0.1% to trade at USD109.10 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at USD8.50 a barrel.