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Crude oil prices edge-up due to rise in H1 demand

Crude oil prices have increased following a rise in demand in the first half of this year.

Brent crude futures stood at $48.82 per barrel, a 45 cents rise, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $45.69 a barrel, up 60 cents, Reuters reported.

Based on national estimates submitted to the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI), crude oil prices halved and prices of most fuels dipped in various consuming countries that led to a surge in oil demand globally.

But a further rise in oil prices was contained by a slowdown in the Asian economy.

"A further rise in oil prices was contained by a slowdown in the Asian economy."

According to JODI, oil consumption during the first half of the year averaged 71.4 million barrels per day (bpd), representing a rise 69.1 million bpd in 2014.

US National Hurricane Center said that hurricane Joaquin, which is set to reach the eastern US coast this weekend, is expected to become a major storm.

The storm reached category 3 status late Wednesday and is expected to strengthen into a category 4 storm today.

Due to the beginning of China's eight-day National Holiday, liquidity in Asian trading hours could be limited, impacting prices.

Preliminary official data revealed that September crude imports in South Korea fell 0.8% from a year earlier to 76.1 million barrels.

An official survey showed that Chinese manufacturing activity contracted for a second straight month in September.

Manufacturers' confidence in Japan is believed to have worsened in the three months to September, according to a central bank survey.

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