BANGKOK – Stronger Chinese manufacturing stemmed a three-day slide in the price of oil Friday.
Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was up 16 cents at $96.52 a barrel at early afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 39 cents to close at $96.38 on Thursday. For October, oil sank 5.8 percent.
Ample supplies of crude have weighed on the price. The Energy Department said Wednesday that U.S. supplies increased 4.1 million barrels last week. Over five weeks, supplies have risen by more than 25 million barrels.
But a suggestion of stronger demand came Friday from two reports on Chinese manufacturing that showed an uptick in activity.
That suggests China's economic recovery could continue to strengthen after growth rebounded to 7.8 percent in the third quarter from a two-decade low in the previous quarter.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international crude also used by U.S. refineries, rose 47 cents to $109.31 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline rose 1.1 cents to $2.598 a gallon.
— Heating oil added 1.1 cent to $2.964 a gallon.
— Natural gas dropped 2.5 cents to $3.556 per 1,000 cubic feet.