Brent futures held above $112 a barrel on Tuesday as investor attention shifted back to demand after China’s factory growth rose to a six-month high, adding to signs the economy of the world’s second-biggest oil consumer is regaining strength.
Oil markets have for weeks been rattled by supply concerns due to the Ukraine crisis and as a takeover of large areas of Iraq by Sunni militants stoked fears of disruption in exports from OPEC’s second-biggest producer amid unsteady shipments from Libya and others. As those fears recede somewhat, investors are looking for fresh clues to gauge the direction of the market.
Brent crude gained 7 cents to $112.43 a barrel by 0238 GMT, after ending down 94 cents at its lowest settlement since the rally spurred by the Iraqi crisis started on June 12. U.S. oil rose 17 cents to $105.54 a barrel.