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Crude oil futures edge higher as demand concerns ease

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Forexpros - Crude oil futures were up on Monday, as better-than-expected Japanese economic data and strong U.S. retail sales figures helped ease fears over the global economic outlook, boosting demand for riskier assets.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at USD86.02 a barrel during European morning trade, gaining 0.38%.

It earlier rose as much as 0.45% to trade at a daily high of USD86.12 a barrel.

Preliminary data released earlier in the day showed that Japan's economy contracted less-than-expected in the second quarter, signaling the country is rebounding from March's earthquake disaster at a faster rate than expected.

Japan's gross domestic shrank by 0.3% in the second quarter, or 1.3% on an annualized basis. Analysts had expected Japan's economy to contract by 0.9% in the quarter, or 2.5% on an annualized basis.

Elsewhere, government data released Friday showed that U.S. retail sales rose by 0.5% in July, the biggest gain in four months, easing fears over the pace of the U.S. economic recovery.

Japan is the world's third largest crude oil consumer, after the U.S. and China.

Crude prices found further support as the dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.23% to hit 74.53, the lowest since August 11.

Oil prices typically strengthen when the U.S. currency weakens as the dollar-priced commodity becomes cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Meanwhile, markets were awaiting Tuesday's meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, to further asses the euro zone's debt crisis and how officials plan to handle escalating threats of contagion.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for October delivery added 0.62% to trade at USD108.28 a barrel, up USD22.26 on its U.S. counterpart.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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