By Ovunc Kutlu
ANKARA (AA) - Crude oil prices were steady with little change early Friday as China's data revealed its weakest economic expansion in nearly three decades in 2019, prompting a greater likelihood of lower oil demand this year.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $64.56 per barrel at 0700 GMT for a 0.17% loss, after ending Thursday at $64.67 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $58.49 a barrel at the same time, also posting a 0.17% decline, after ending the previous session at $58.59 per barrel.
The Chinese economy expanded 6.1% in 2019, according to the country's National Bureau of Statistics figures announced on Friday.
This marked the weakest rate of expansion since 1990 in the world's second largest economy, implying the Sino-American trade war has taken its toll on China.
The slow economic expansion also suggests that overall oil demand in China, the world's second largest oil consumer, as well as in Asia could remain weak this year, pushing crude prices lower.