Oil prices have slipped more than 1% on signs that an economic slowdown was spreading in top oil importer China.
International Brent oil futures edged down 1.28% at $61.94 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures declined 1.19% at $53.16 a barrel, Reuters reported.
Following the gloomy news on economic slowdown in China, financial markets across Asia weakened.
Reporting the lowest annual economic growth in nearly 30 years, China’s state planner cautioned a further decrease in activity in the coming months due to declining factory orders.
Official data revealed that growth in South Korea’s export-oriented economy slowed to a six-year low of 2.7% last year, in a sign of spreading economic weakness.
The International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecast for this year to 3.5%, from 3.7% it had predicted last October.
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Futures brokerage FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed told the news agency: “This was the second downturn revision in three months, and we can still see further downgrades in the near future if trade tensions escalate, the UK exits with a no-deal from the EU, or China’s economic growth drops more sharply.”
Despite the darkening outlook, oil prices are gaining some support from supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries since the beginning of this month.
Saudi Arabia’s official data highlighted an increase in its crude oil exports in November to 8.235Mbpd from 7.700Mbpd in October.