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Oil rises ahead of China economic data

BANGKOK (AP) — Oil prices rose moderately Friday, clawing back some of the ground lost during a sharp sell-off the day before, as traders awaited a slew of economic data from China.

Benchmark oil for January delivery was up 30 cents to $86.56 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.62, or 1.8 percent, to finish at $86.26 per barrel in New York.

Prices moved higher ahead of the anticipated release of inflation, retail sales and factory output data from China on Sunday.

Analysts at Gao Hua Securities Co. in Beijing said they expect industrial production growth for November to rise to 10 percent from a year earlier, up from 9.6 percent in October.

Signs of a production uptick in the world's No. 2 economy usually help support energy prices, since China consumes huge amounts of energy.

On Thursday, the price of oil fell after the European Central Bank predicted a bleak year ahead for the region's economy but stopped short of offering new measures to boost growth

The ECB left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low, and the bank cut its 2013 economic forecast for the region to negative from positive.

The 17 countries that use the euro currency are in a recession after a massive debt crisis followed by government spending cuts and tax hikes that have hurt growth.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, rose 42 cents to $107.45 per barrel in London.

In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

— Heating oil rose 0.7 cent to $2.95 per gallon.

— Wholesale gasoline rose 1.4 cents to $2.610 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 0.4 cent to $3.67 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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