Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Monday as dealers welcomed the upbeat manufacturing data in China, the world’s top energy consumer, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for January delivery, was up 52 cents at $93.24 in mid-morning trade, while Brent North Sea crude for January delivery climbed 57 cents to $110.26.

Official data yesterday showed China’s manufacturing growth in November maintained its strong pace from the previous month to stay at a 19-month high.

The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was at 51.4, unchanged from October, and at the highest level since April 2012.

Global banking giant HSBC’s own index of the country’s manufacturing activity came in at 50.8 today, better than the 50.4 initially estimated.

A reading above 50 signals expansion, while a figure below indicates contraction.

Singapore-based Phillip Futures said the PMI data “topped analysts’ estimates in a sign that the country’s economy may have bottomed out and is garnering recovery momentum’’.

Official data in October showed China’s economy, an important driver of regional and global growth, expanded 7.8 per cent from July to September, snapping two quarters of slowing.

Analysts said dealers were also looking ahead to a slew of US economic data scheduled to be released this week, including on third quarter gross domestic product estimates and November non-farm payrolls.

“We might see further support for oil ahead of these data if investors get an inkling that they are going to be better than expected,” said David Lennox, resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney.

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