MTECHTIPS:-Crude drifts higher in Asia as China demand data suite

MTECHTIPS:-Crude drifts higher in Asia as China demand data suite awaited

MTECHTIPS-Crude prices drifted higher in Asia ahead of data sets from China covering retail sales, GDP and industrial production that are eyed for demand signals. Crude oil for February delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange edged up 0.23% to $52.24 a barrel. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for March delivery was last quoted up 0.04% to $54.20 a barrel. In China, GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the full-year is due with a 6.7% annual pace seen and a 1.7% increase quarter-on-quarter. As well China reports industrial production with a rise of 6.1% seen year-on-year for December and retail sales up 10.7% year-on-year, a tick down from 10.8% the previous month. Ahead on Friday comes drilling data from oilfield servies firm Baker Hughes that will be closely watched by the market. U.S. oil drillers cut rigs, figure released the previous Friday showed, by 7 rigs to 522. Overnight, West Texas Intermediate oil pared gains in North American trade on Thursday, after data showed that oil supplies in the U.S. registered an unexpected inventory build
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