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On the back of expected Chinese demand, oil prices end the week higher by more than 1%

Oil prices rose more than 1% on Friday, bolstered by optimism over China’s economic recovery and a second weekly gain.

Brent crude futures rose 1.3% to $42.17 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 1.2% at $39.79 a barrel.

The gains were driven by positive economic data emanating from China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer. China’s government said it would step up support for the economy in the second half of the year, while the country’s industrial output rose 4.8% in June from a year earlier, higher than the 4.4% forecast by analysts.

The better-than-expected data helped to offset concerns over rising coronavirus cases in the United States and other parts of the world, which have weighed on demand for fuel.

The recent gains come after oil prices fell in the first half of the year due to the pandemic-induced collapse in demand. Prices have since recovered some ground, but are still down around 20% since the start of the year.