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Crude ends higher as US, China data fuel rally

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Brent crude rose on Monday, surpassing $110 a barrel for the first time in June and U.S. crude ended sharply higher, as strong Chinese and U.S. data pointed to healthy economic growth and higher demand from the world's top two consumers.

China's exports beat forecasts in May on firmer global demand, rising 7 percent from a year earlier and quickening from April's increase of 0.9 percent. The strong gains overshadowed an unexpected fall in imports that could signal weaker domestic demand.

The positive data boosted an oil market already bolstered by the loss of crude exports from Libya, where violence and civil turmoil have cut oil output by more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from pre-unrest levels. The Chinese data followed U.S. figures from Friday showing employment returning to its pre-recession peak, confirming steady improvement in the world's top economy.

Brent crude gained more than $1 to trade near $110, after settling down 18 cents and declining 0.7 percent last week. U.S. oil surged by $1.75 to end at $104.41, after finishing the week unchanged.

May marked a fourth straight month of U.S. job gains above 200,000, a stretch last seen in January 2000.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets in Vienna this week and is likely to keep an output target of 30 million bpd. Members of the cartel, which pumps a third of the world's oil, are happy with oil prices and producing enough to cover most of their budget needs.

--By Reuters. For more information on commodities, please click here.