Oil prices increased slightly as after the better industrial output and retail data from China, which topped expectations.
However, overall figures showed that it was China’s slowest quarterly economic growth in decades. Brent crude futures rose 40 cents to $67.12 a barrel, while US crude was up 19 cents at $60.40 per barrel, Reuters reported.
The more positive Chinese economic data, which strengthened Asian and early European trading, could suggest an early success in government stimulus efforts and potentially more oil demand in the country.
Analysts at ANZ bank said China’s crude oil imports year-to-date still looked impressive, even as imports fell in June for a second straight month.
“We believe additional crude oil quota (given) to private refiners should keep imports upbeat in H2 2019,” ANZ bank analysts were quoted by Reuters as saying.
Official data revealed that China’s crude oil throughput surged to a record of 13.07 million barrels per day in June, an increase of 7.7% from a year earlier, after the start-up of two new, large refineries.
Reuters said economic growth of only 6.2% in the second quarter of 2019, which is the worst in 27 years, signaled the impact of trade tensions with Washington and raised the possibility that more incentives might be needed to jumpstart the economy.
International Energy Agency said in its monthly report that abundant output and sluggish growth would leave oil markets increasingly over-supplied going into 2020.