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Oil prices fall on weak Chinese economic data and rising US reserves

Aug 14, 2019 (MarketLine via COMTEX) --

Oil prices again slipped losing some earlier gains on reports of weak economic data from China and a rise in US inventories.

Brent crude dropped $0.46 to $60.84 a barrel, while the US oil plunged $0.62 to trade at $56.48 per barrel, reported Reuters.

Both the oil benchmarks rose in previous trading sessions after the US agreed to delay the previously announced fresh tariffs on Chinese imports, which were scheduled to be effective from 1 September.

The increase in the US-China trade frictions over the last few weeks dragged the crude prices. It is expected that the latest efforts will ease the tensions, supporting the market.

On the other hand, the Chinese commerce ministry said in a statement that officials of both countries spoke over the phone and are expected to engage again within two weeks.

However, crude prices dropped again after China reported a drop in industrial output growth to a more than 17-year low, including other weaker economic data.

CMC Markets market analyst Margaret Yang said: “Deteriorating China industrial output and consumer spending suggest the fundamental picture isn’t great and the demand for energy may be under the pressure.”

The market was also lowered by an unexpected increase in US inventories. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), crude stocks jumped by 3.7 million barrels to 443 million barrels, against analyst predictions of a 2.8 million barrel fall.

Meanwhile, oil prices received support from the news that Saudi Arabia will remain committed to production cuts, added the news agency.

Last week, Saudi Arabia said that it will maintain crude exports below seven million barrels per day (bpd) in August and September.

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