Brent rises above $110

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By Shadia Nasralla and Simon Falush

London - Brent crude oil rose above $110 a barrel on Wednesday after two sessions of losses, as investors switched their focus from fears of a US fiscal crisis to hopes that growth in top energy consumer China will pick up sooner than expected.

Front-month Brent futures traded 48 cents higher at $110.32 by 0928 GMT, after losing nearly 1 percent in the previous session. US crude added 42 cents to $88.92.

China will make policies more targeted in 2013 to help the economy recover and to bolster domestic demand, state television quoted Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping as saying on Tuesday, driving the region's stocks and commodity prices higher.

“Chinese sentiment is pulling markets in general higher and this is due to the statement from the new Chinese leadership with regards to maintaining a stable environment during 2013,” said Filip Petersson, analyst at SEB in Stockholm.

“We have movement in the Brent market that's similar to the movement in European equities and US equities futures this morning.”

Asian shares also rose to a 16-month high, led by surging Chinese stocks on hopes for stable growth, while copper rose to a near seven-week high. - Reuters

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