LONDON (AFP) - World oil prices rallied on Monday, partly boosted by positive manufacturing data from China, which is the worlds second biggest energy consuming nation after the United States. New Yorks main contract, light sweet crude for December delivery gained 1.03 dollars to 78.03 dollars a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for December delivery was $1.22 higher at $76.42. Robust economic data from China is lending support today, said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch. The HSBC China Manufacturing PMI, or purchasing managers index, was revealed Monday to have risen to an 18-month high of 55.4 in October from 55.0 in Sept. A reading above 50 means the sector is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates an overall decline. A separate official Chinese PMI, compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics, showed manufacturing activity rose to 55.2 in Oct the highest since May 2008 from 54.3 in Sept. Oil prices also found fresh support by a fresh drop in the value of the US dollar. The US unit fell against the euro on Monday amid fresh worries about the US financial sector following the bankruptcy of US bank CIT Group over the weekend, traders said. The weaker greenback makes dollar-priced oil cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies and therefore tends to stimulate oil demand and prices. In late morning London deals, the European single currency rose to $1.4772 from $1.4715 late on Friday. Traders meanwhile assessed the global economic outlook in the wake of the CIT bankruptcy. While data released last Thursday showed the US has emerged from a prolonged recession, consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the nations economic activity, fell in Sept. I think the reality is that the economic signals out there have been mixed, said Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz. Last week there was positive US (gross domestic product) but consumer spending was quite negative. Shum added that even though there are signs of economic recovery, the recovery appears to be on a shaky ground and also somewhat uncertain. The US said Friday consumer spending in the worlds biggest economy and energy user fell for the first time in five months in September. A day earlier, the Commerce Department said the US economy grew at a seasonally adjusted 3.5 percent in the September quarter from the previous three months. It was the biggest growth in two years as the country emerged from a brutal recession that started in December 2007.