The price of oil drifted up to around $93 a barrel as China's manufacturing growth held steady at a modest pace in November.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery was up 36 cents at $93.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 41 cents to close at $93.68 on Friday.
Chinese manufacturing continued to grow slightly in November, a survey showed, in evidence that growth in the world's No. 2 economy was continuing, albeit at a modest pace.
HSBC's purchasing managers' index released Monday slipped to 50.8 points from 50.9 in October. Although November's reading was little changed, HSBC said it was the second-highest level in eight months, indicating China's massive manufacturing industries are improving, though marginally.
China's leaders are counting on a continuing recovery to avoid the need for further stimulus. China's economic growth rose to 7.8 percent in the third quarter after slumping to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in the previous three months.
"The bullish (Chinese) data, combined with the expectation that OPEC will leave its oil production quota unchanged at 30 million barrels per day ... has supported the U.S. benchmark," said a report from Sucden Financial Research in London.