Oil slide checked
Investors rallied behind an encouraging report on the Chinese economy, halting a slide in oil prices.
China's economy expanded by 7.3 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier. Although growth slowed slightly from the previous quarter's 7.5 per cent, analysts had expected a more marked slowdown, to 6.9 per cent.
China has been a worry spot for investors for many weeks, and has been a key reason why financial markets have been volatile lately. Signs of a slowdown in Europe have also been worrying investors.
Yesterday, benchmark US crude rose 10 cents to close at US$82.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many US refineries, rose 82 cents to close at US$86.22 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the NYMEX, heating oil rose 2.7 cents to close at US$2.513 a gallon and natural gas rose 4.1 cents to close at US$3.711 per 1,000 cubic feet.
The recovery in oil prices helped send energy stocks higher. The energy sector in the S&P 500 jumped 2.9 per cent Yesterday, by far the biggest gain of the 10 sectors in the index.
In metals trading, gold rose $7 to US$1,251.70 an ounce, silver rose 20 cents to US$17.55 an ounce and copper rose four cents to US$3.03 a pound.