Oil prices spike as China picks up

China's economy showed signs of improvement yesterday, forcing oil prices upwards.

The country's manufacturing output in July grew at its fastest pace in the past nine months, suggesting it is still expanding even as Europe falters.

Brent crude added more than $1 to $104.28 a barrel in response.

Tony Nunan, at Mitsubishi Corp, said: "China is the biggest driver of oil demand and its overall oil appetite does not seem to have suffered so much as it builds up infrastructure and crude stockpiles."

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