Oil up in Asia

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Singapore, Feb 15 (AFP) Oil prices climbed in Asian tradetoday, bolstered by continued unrest in the Middle East andNorth Africa and robust Chinese demand, analysts said.

New York''s main contract, light sweet crude for Marchdelivery, was up 24 cents to USD 85.05 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April advanced 13cents to USD 103.21.

"Unrest in the Middle East could provide some support tocrude oil prices," said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst forPhillip Futures in Singapore.

Crude markets had been supported by supply concerns inthe Middle East as demonstrators in various Arab states drewinspiration from pro-democracy protests leading to the ousterof leaders in Tunisia and Egypt.

Unrest has followed in Iran, Yemen and Bahrain.

Robust Chinese crude demand has also helped support crudeprices.

"China crude oil imports rose 27 per cent from a yearago," Ong told AFP.

Chinese data released yesterday showed the world''slargest energy consumer importing 5.13 million barrels ofcrude per day for the month of January 2011. (AFP)

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