A worker fills up a car with fuel at a gas station in Caracas

Oil prices rise on strong Japan, Australia economic data

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By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Crude oil prices bounced back on Wednesday from steep falls in the previous session as strong Japanese economic growth surprised markets and the business outlook in Australia also seemed to brighten, stoking producer hopes of increased demand.

Japan’s economy, the world’s third largest, expanded at an annualized rate of 2.4 percent in the first three months of this year, more than a median market forecast for a 1.5 percent increase and following a revised 1.1 percent expansion in October-December, data from the Cabinet Office showed.

In Australia, an important commodity employer and exporter, consumer sentiment surged in May as people’s outlook on the economy brightened following this month’s interest rate cut and after the government unveiled a budget that included a surprise tax break for small businesses.

Brent futures <LCOc1> were up 57 cents at $64.59 a barrel by 0215 GMT, and U.S. crude prices <CLc1> were also up 57 cents at $58.56 a barrel.

The price rises came after a session on Tuesday that saw oil slide over 3 percent on a dollar rally and concerns of a building glut, which Goldman Sachs said would lead to a return of 2015 lows.

(Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)


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