Crude oil futures jumped in pre London trades today after the Chinese data showed price pressures were abating as a weakening economy affected growth for industrial production, strengthening calls for Beijing to respond by further loosening its monetary policy.
The monthly producer price index dropped 2.9% a year earlier, accelerating from a 2.1% deflation recorded in June, figures released Thursday morning by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
Meanwhile, data released separately by the NBS Thursday afternoon showed monthly industrial output increased 9.2% in July from the year-ago month.
The data also showed retail sales for the month rose 13.1%, weakening from a 13.7% increase in June and missing estimates for a 13.7% growth. The NBS figures also showed fixed asset investments in non-rural China climbed 20.4% in the first seven months of 2012.
The Chinese data sent shares higher across Asia, while the U.S. dollar fell, with the ICE dollar index slipping to 82.258 from 82.366 late Wednesday in North America.
Crude for September delivery is up 33 cents at $93.68 a barrel, as weak gains for Chinese consumer prices — and deflation for producer prices — stoked expectations for further policy easing from Beijing.
In other data releases, Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate totaled 5.2% in July, down from 5.3% in June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.
Also, the Bank of England cuts its views for growth and inflation in the U.K. economy, giving investors a signal it could inject further stimulus in the coming months.
South Korea's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 3% Thursday but is widely expected to deliver fresh policy easing as early as next month to support growth.
Japanese core machinery orders rose 5.6% on month in June, but the rebound from last month's plunge was much weaker than expected, prompting the government to downgrade its assessment of the nation's capital investment activity for the first time in nine months.
MCX August crude futures are trading marginally lower today as the Indian Rupee bounced back. It was recently seen trading at Rs 5162 down Rs 7 per barrel. It may face a resistance near Rs 5175 and Rs 5190 levels today.
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