Oil settles lower on weak economic Chinese economic data

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Oil prices settled lower after disappointing Chinese economic data renewed concerns of a global recession that would be expected to reduce fuel demand.

Brent crude futures settled down $3.05, or 3.1%, to $95.10 a barrel after dropping 1.5% on Friday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled down $2.68, or 2.9%, at $89.41 after dropping 2.4% in the previous session.

Brent futures were close to their lowest since before Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, while WTI futures touched their lowest on Monday since early February.

The central bank in China, the world’s largest crude importer, cut lending rates to revive demand as data showed the economy slowing unexpectedly in July, with factory and retail activity squeezed by Beijing’s zero-COVID policy and a property crisis.

The country’s refinery output slipped to 12.53 million barrels per day (bpd), its lowest since March 2020, government data showed.

ING bank cut its forecast for China’s 2022 GDP growth to 4%, down from a previous projection of 4.4%, and said a further downgrade was possible.

Brent crude open interest this month is down 20% from August last year.

via Reuters

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