Oil prices rise on China growth, Middle East tensions


OIL prices rose on Tuesday after data showed China's economy grew faster than expected, while heightened tensions in the Middle East also kept markets on edge after Israel said it would respond to Iran's weekend missile and drone attack.

Brent futures for June delivery rose 20 cents, or 0.2%, to $90.30 a barrel by 0757 GMT. U.S. crude futures for May delivery rose 21 cents, or 0.3%, to $85.62 a barrel.

Earlier in the day oil prices had risen nearly 1% following the release of official data from China showing gross domestic product in the world's biggest oil importer grew 5.3% in the first quarter, year-on-year, comfortably beating analysts' expectations.

However, both benchmarks pared some gains as a raft of other Chinese indicators including real estate investment, retail sales and industrial output showed demand remained weak in the face of a protracted property crisis.

Oil prices soared last week to the highest levels since October, but fell on Monday after Iran's weekend attack on Israel proved to be less damaging than anticipated, easing concerns of a quickly intensifying conflict that could displace crude barrels.

"Israel's response will determine whether the escalation ends or continues. The conflict could still be contained to Israel, Iran and its proxies, with possible involvement of the U.S.," analysts at ANZ Research said in a note on Tuesday.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday summoned his war cabinet for the second time in less than 24 hours to weigh how to react to Iran's first-ever direct attack on Israel.

Iran produces more than 3 million barrels per day of crude oil as a major producer within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). - Reuters

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Brent , WTI , OPEC , Middle East

   

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