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Crude Oil Prices Down More than 1% on China’s Data

January 14, 2019 at 20:13 by Vladimir Vyun

Prices for crude oil dropped more than 1% today after disappointing trade data released in China. While the Chinese trade balance surplus widened, both imports and exports declined. It is just that imports fell more than exports. Overall, the data pointed at slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy. And that does not bode well to the commodity, which is linked to economic growth. With that said, data compiled by Reuters showed that oil consumption in the Asian nation remained strong so far, with imports surging 30% in December from a year ago.

Market analysts were not particularly bearish on oil, hoping that production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies should buoy prices. The OPEC and several non-OPEC countries, including Russia, agreed to reduce their output of crude by 1.2 million barrels per day starting in January.

Contract for delivery of WTI crude oil in February dropped 1.96% to $50.58 per barrel as of 19:56 GMT on NYMEX today. March Brent crude sank as much as 2.38% to $59.04 per barrel on ICE.

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