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Crude Prices Turn Upwards Following U.S., China Economic Report

Crude prices rose towards $48 on Friday after the release of energy data from the United States and China, two of the world’s top energy consumers.

The rise in prices corresponds to the forecasted increase in oil and natural gas demand for the two superpower countries for the rest of the year, according to Epmag.

At 12 p.m. CST the Brent barrel price stood at $47.53.

Despite the slight gains, the crude oil oversupply will likely prevent major price jumps in the coming days.

Last month, the United States saw an increase in cars and vehicle-related purchases, signaling an ensuing economic recovery and a positive impact on chronically low gasoline prices.

American car buyers opted for gas guzzling vehicles as per barrel prices stood at less than half of their pre-crisis levels in 2014 and late 2015.

China’s economic report highlighted the government’s efforts in stabilizing growth at over 6.5 percent. The Asian giant’s crude oil production fell by 4.6 points to the lowest rate in at least six years.

Bank of America’s report, released through its investment wing, Merrill Lynch, predicted a global crude oil output drop by 300,000 barrels per day in Q3. A $55 barrel price would come to be by the end of 2016, according to the analysis.

Related: Venezuela’s Oil Production Plunges To 13-Year Low

"Unlike last year, when the market remained in a large and steady surplus, the global oil market is now about to move into a substantial deficit. As a result, we believe that the current seasonal headwinds will fade as we head into the winter," the bank said.

Recent weeks have seen an increase in European diesel inventories as countries complete mass cost-saving transactions.

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"Inventories are high and we are in the withdrawal season. Things could get worse when we enter late August and September when inventories usually build," said the Netherlands-based ING Bank in a release that forecasted Brent to stay stable at a $40 price in the third and fourth quarters of 2016.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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