Oil soars as Chinese manufacturing sector expands

<p>Oil has advanced thanks to positive Chinese manufacturing news.</p>

Oil has soared in commodities trading this afternoon (December 3rd) as investor confidence is given a much-needed boost thanks to a return to prosperity for the Chinese manufacturing industry.

HSBC's purchasing managers index (PMI) hit a 13-month high, while the state-sanctioned PMI for the government touched a seven-month zenith.

The bank's PMI showed a reading of 50.5 – which is up from October's 49.5 – while the official reports posted a figure of 50.6, a rise from the previous month's 50.2.

According to the PMI system, all readings higher than the benchmark of 50 indicate expansion, while those lower mean contraction. Therefore the industry is enjoying a period of growth – albeit at a relatively slow pace.

China's economy is mainly driven by manufacturing and the sector has suffered recently as orders to the struggling US and Europe drop.

At 15:45 GMT, Brent Crude Oil Futures gained by 0.4 per cent to $111.67 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil Futures advanced by 1.2 per cent to $89.90 per barrel.

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