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August 16, 2019

Crude prices recover amid reports of increase in US retail sales

After two days of decline, global crude oil prices have risen by more than 1% amid an increase in US retail sales.

After two days of decline, global crude oil prices have risen by more than 1% amid an increase in US retail sales.

Brent crude LCOc1 jumped 52 cents to touch $58.75 a barrel, while the US crude CLc1 gained 65 cents to trade at $55.12 per barrel, reported Reuters.

According to government data, US retail sales increased 0.7% last month, helping to allay fears of an economic slowdown.

However, oil price gains were restricted due to a decline in industrial output growth in China and a fall in German exports.

National Australia Bank senior economist Phin Ziebell was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The broader story around global economic growth has been a weak one, or a weakening one and expectations (are for) further weakening.”

The crude market is still supported by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other allied nations, a group called OPEC+. Last month, OPEC+ agreed to extend the supply cuts to March next year.

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Last week, a Saudi official indicated that it may take additional steps to ensure stability of oil prices. “Saudi Arabia is committed to do whatever it takes to keep the market balanced next year,” the official told Reuters.

The efforts to revive global prices were largely outweighed by the ongoing trade frictions between the US and China, as well as rising US crude stockpiles and shale oil output.

US crude stocks increased 1.6 million barrels last week, against analysts’ expectations for a 2.8 million barrel fall.

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