Commodities: Oil rises on Chinese data

LONDON (ShareCast) - Oil futures rallied to the 94 dollar a barrel mark on Thursday following stronger than expected China exports data.

Data showed China's December trade surplus recovered sharply to £19.5bn, way above expectations for a £12.3bn surplus. Exports rose 14.1% from a year earlier.

The February futures contract closed up 0.97% at $94.00 a barrel.

Natural gas also gained, up 2.57% to $3.19 per million British thermal units, while unleaded gas climbed 0.62% to end the session at $2.80 per gallon.

Heating oil went the other way, settling down 0.58% to $3.05 a gallon.

In metals, the Chinese data also had a positive effect, pushing gold up 1.36% to $1,678 per troy ounce.

Other metals also put in a decent performance, with silver 2.21% higher, platinum up 2.14%, and copper rising 1.05%.