Oil Prices Decline as Chinese Data Causes Global Slowdown Worries

Oil prices traded lower on Monday as weak economic data out of China raised concerns of a global slowdown that could impact crude demand.

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 42 cents, or 0.81%, at $51.17 a barrel by 9:58 AM ET (15:58GMT).

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., lost 39 cents, or 0.64%, to $60.09.

Chinese exports unexpectedly fell by the most in two years in December, while imports also declined, telling signs of weakness in the world’s second largest economy.

“Oil prices are getting weighted down by the prospects of weaker economic growth in China,” Stephen Innes of futures brokerage Oanda said in a report.

“This data drives home just how negative of an impact trade war is having on the Chinese and perhaps global economy.”

Prices however have been supported as OPEC+, made of the cartel’s members and non-OPEC allies including Russia, began to implement their agreement to cut oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day starting in January to prevent a supply glut and boost prices.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday the oil market was “on the right track” and there was no need for an extraordinary OPEC meeting before its next planned gathering in April.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures slumped 1.07% to $1.3924 a gallon by 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT), while heating oil gained 0.61% to $1.8912 a gallon.

Lastly, natural gas futures traded up 11.91% to $3.468 per million British thermal unit as weekend forecasts predicted an intense cold front arriving in the final third week of January, pumping demand for the commodity./investing.com

 

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