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Oil stabilizes as China shows signs of recovery
Oil price stabilizes near $88 in Europe after Chinese data show sign of economic recovery
By The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) The price of oil stabilized on Tuesday, after sliding the day before on Europe's deepening debt turmoil, as a survey suggested a recovery in China's manufacturing is taking hold.

Benchmark crude for September delivery was up 2 cents at $88.16 a barrel by late morning European time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract had tumbled $3.69, or 4 percent, on Monday to settle at $88.14 per barrel after Spain's borrowing costs surged, raising the risk that it will require a financial bailout.

Those fears persisted on Tuesday, but their impact on the market was offset somewhat by better economic data on China's manufacturing.

Preliminary results of HSBC's monthly survey of manufacturers showed the contraction in Chinese manufacturing eased in July. The bank's Purchasing Managers' Index which combines various measures of manufacturing activity rose to 49.5 from 48.2. Readings above 50 denote growth.

The individual gauge of factory output showed an expansion in production and was at its highest level in nine months.

HSBC's chief China economist Hongbin Qu said the survey suggests Beijing's attempts to stimulate the world's second-biggest economy are starting to work. "A more meaningful improvement of growth is expected in the coming months when these measures fully filter through."

Brent crude was up 5 cents at $103.31 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.

In other futures trading, heating oil down 0.3 cents at $2.82 a gallon. Gasoline fell 1.8 cent to $2.87 a gallon and natural gas fell 2.4 cents to $3.09 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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