OIL PRICES edge up, but set for weekly loss on inventory build, US-China trade row.

Oil prices nudged higher on Friday on signs of surging demand in China, the world's second biggest  oil user, though prices were set to fall for a second week amid concerns of the ongoing Sino-US  trade war is limiting overall economic activity.

Brent crude-oil futures were trading at $79.51 per barrel at 0521 GMT, up 22 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate [WTI] crude futures were up 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $68.84 a barrel.

For the week, Brent crude was 1.1 percent lower while WTI futures were down 3.5 percent, putting both on track for a second consecutive weekly decline.

Refinery throughput in China, the world's second largest oil importer, rose to a record high of 12.49 million barrels per day [bpd] in September as some independent plants restarted, operations after prolonged shutdowns over summer to shore up inventories, government data showed on Friday.

The refinery consumption may rise through the fourth quarter as several state-owned Chinese refiners return to service after maintenance.

Undermining the strong refinery data, China did on Friday report its weakest economic growth since  2009 in the third-quarter, with gross domestic product expanding by only 6.5 percent, missing estimates.

The weak economic data, raised concerns that the country's trade war with United States is beginning to have an impact on growth which may limit China's oil demand.

The trade war concerns combined with surging US oil stockpiles reported on Thursday last, are capping the day's price gains.

US crude stocks last climbed 6.5 million barrels, the fourth straight weekly build, almost triple the amount analysts had forecast, the US Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. [Agencies]


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