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Oil rises on strength in Germany, China

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices rose slightly Monday on a surprise expansion of German exports and signs of increased oil consumption in China.

The German government said exports from Europe's biggest economy rose slightly in October after losing ground the month before. They were 10.6 percent higher than October a year earlier.

In China, the world's second-largest economy after the United States, crude imports last month were the highest in half a year. The company also refined more than 10 million barrels per day for the first time, noted Tradition Energy's Addison Armstrong, as the number of cars on the road increased. The oil demand data was released a day after another set of figures showed that China's industrial production and retail sales exceeded expectations in November.

Benchmark crude rose 28 cents to $86.21 just before noon in New York. The contract lost 3.4 percent last week.

Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, rose 86 cents to $107.88 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

Pump prices fell over the weekend and are now averaging $3.34 a gallon, up 6 cents from a year ago. The national average is down more than 10 cents from a month ago.

Other futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

_ Heating oil was flat at $2.92 a gallon.

_ Natural fell 13 cents to $3.42 per 1,000 cubic feet.

_ Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.62 a gallon.

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