Growth in China's vast manufacturing sector picked up in December, reinforcing recent indications of a revival in the country's economic recovery that could boost fuel demand. Further support came from strong employment and retail sales data from the U.S. — the world's No.1 oil consumer.
ICE Brent crude rose above $108 a barrel on Friday on a brighter outlook for China's economy, the world's second largest oil consumer, but worries about the impact of a possible U.S. fiscal crisis capped price gains. The January contract, which expires later on Friday, rose $1.19 to $109.10 a barrel.
U.S. light, sweet crude for January delivery was up 43 cents at $86.32 and on track for its fifth weekly gain in six.
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