Singapore: Oil prices were up in Asian trade on Thursday as a surprise rise in German industrial production brightened the market's outlook for European and global growth, analysts said. (Agencies)
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June added five cents to USD 96.67 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for June delivery gained 18 cents to USD 104.52.
"Dealers are cheering German industrial production figures that were significantly better than expected," Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said.
"What we're seeing is an improved outlook for European and global growth." The upbeat German factory output numbers came a day after China said it recorded an USD 18.2 billion surplus in April, stoking hopes of improving demand in the world's second biggest economy.
German industrial output saw a surprisingly robust rise in March driven by a sharp increase in the energy sector, official data showed on Wednesday.
Industrial production rose by 1.2 percent in March compared with the previous month, beating analysts' expectations of a 0.2 percent decline.
On Tuesday, economy ministry data showed industrial orders in Germany jumping by 2.2 percent in March compared with February, propelled by rising demand -- both at home and abroad -- for German-made goods.
The fresh production figures were a further sign of gathering momentum in Europe's largest economy, supporting hopes for an increased demand for crude there.
Crude has been stronger in recent weeks thanks to an improved picture of economic growth in the United States, China, Japan and Germany, and by a rise in tensions in the Middle East after Israeli air raids in Syria.
Singapore: Oil prices were up in Asian trade on Thursday as a surprise rise in German industrial production brightened the market's outlook for European and global growth, analysts said.