Oil rebounds in Asia

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Tokyo - Oil prices rebounded in Asian trade on Tuesday, with strong US economic data lifting investor sentiment, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery, was up 32 cents at $97.66 a barrel in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude for January rose 45 cents to $109.84.

“Crude oil continued to rally due to optimistic US economic data, which lifted markets,” Phillip Futures said in a commentary.

The US jobless rate fell sharply to a five-year-low of 7.0 percent in November and the economy generated 203 000 jobs - well above expectations - providing further evidence of the gathering strength of the world's biggest economy.

Those upbeat numbers followed data showing the US economy grew at a speedy annual rate of 3.6 percent in the third quarter.

Phillip Futures said the results indicate demand in the world's largest consumer of crude oil will lead to a pick-up in prices.

Other analysts said bargain-hunting had also helped bolster prices, which tumbled sharply the previous day.

Brent crude declined $2.22 in London trade on Monday, weighed by weaker German industrial output. - AFP

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