Oil prices dip on bleak economic data from China

Oil prices dip on bleak economic data from China

Fall in US oil inventories limits price declines

By Zeynep Beyza Kilic

Oil prices inched lower on Wednesday, influenced by weak economic data from China, the world's largest oil importer.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $84.86 per barrel at 10.30 a.m. local time (0730 GMT), a 0.04% drop from the closing price of $84.89 per barrel on Tuesday.

The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at the same time at $80.92 per barrel, down 0.09% from Tuesday's session close of $80.99 per barrel.

The most recent data from China exacerbated fears of a slowing economy in the post-Covid period, sending oil prices lower in anticipation of weaker oil demand.

Data released last week in China showed a decrease in imports of major industrial raw materials in July, a new sign of the fragility of the country's economic recovery. Other statistics revealed a decrease in the country’s imports of crude oil, iron, steel, copper and coal over the last seven months.

In addition, retail sales and industrial production in the country were below expectations, increasing concerns about the country's economic growth.

Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute released crude oil inventory expectations late Tuesday. Inventories in the US fell by about 6.2 million barrels last week, signaling a rise in demand in the world's largest oil consumer and limiting oil price declines.

The US Energy Information Administration will release official oil stock data later in the day. In the case of a fall in stocks, a rise in oil prices is expected.

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