Oil prices rose on Friday, boosted by supply disruptions in the Middle East and signs of rising Chinese demand, with front-month U.S. crude leading gains as it rebounded from five sessions of declines.
China's factory output grew in July at its fastest pace since the start of the year, adding to a run of data suggesting the world's second-largest economy may be stabilising after more than two years of slumping growth. Crude oil imports rose to a record, although implied oil demand softened from a four-month high in June.
The data helped Brent crude recover from its lowest close in more than a month, but trading was more active in the New York market.
The premium for September crude over December futures widened by 70 cents to $3.60, intensifying a market structure known as backwardation. Analysts cited upbeat data from China and more signs of a sharp fall-off in Libyan oil exports. Market watchers also said that a rush to secure long positions in the front month contract ahead of the weekend also contributed to the rally.