Oil prices rose Monday as bargain-hunters moved in following a price plunge last week that has prompted speculation about a possible cut to OPEC output, as investors waited for fresh economic data from China, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in June gained 79 cents to $100.44 a barrel in London midday deals.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for May, added 57 cents to $88.58 a barrel.

“Crude oil prices started the week on the positively side, following a strong rebound in the global equity markets that spread optimism and increased risk appetite,” said Myrto Sokou, senior research analyst at Sucden brokers.

Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at traders CMC Markets, told AFP that “a bit of bargain hunting... is keeping prices up.”

“Dealers are waiting for flash PMI (purchasing managers index) figures from China” due on Tuesday, he added.

Crude prices had last week slid on weak Chinese economic data, with Brent falling to a nine-month low before recovering on market speculation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plans to cut output.

China’s economic growth slowed to 7.7 percent in the first quarter, a surprise result that came in below expectations and raised concerns that the nation’s recovery is faltering.

China is the world’s biggest energy-consuming nation and the health of its economy is closely watched by the oil markets.