MTECHTIPS-U.S. Crude edged higher in Asia on Monday as China released stable GDP growth data and a choppy market on supply concerns ahead of a July 24 meeting of OPEC an allies on the state of play for production cuts. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for August contract rose 0.17% to $46.62 a barrel, while on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery was last quoted at $49.00. China released second quarter GDP growth with a gain of 1.7% that matched expectations and a year-on-year increase of 6.9% that came in slighltly higher than the expected 6.8%. At the same time, China reported industrial production gained 7.6% from a year earlier in June and retail sales rose 11% in June. AUD/USD traded at 0.7823, down 0.09% with China a top trading partner for energy, metal and food commodities, while USD/JPY changed hands at 112.44, down 0.09% as well. Last week, oil prices settled higher for the fifth session in a row on Friday, to score a weekly gain of roughly 5% as investors cheered data suggesting that demand for oil will pick up during the second half of 2017. Reports of accelerating demand growth from the International Energy Agency, crude oil import growth in China and falling crude stocks in the U.S. aided sentiment.
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