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August 20, 2018updated 21 Aug 2018 1:08pm

Oil prices mixed due to worries of slowing economic growth

Oil prices were mixed as concerns over slowing economic growth that weighed on markets, while impending US sanctions on Iran are lending support to the prices.

Oil prices were mixed as concerns over slowing economic growth that weighed on markets, while impending US sanctions on Iran are lending support to the prices.

Benchmark Brent crude futures traded at $71.80 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures decreased six cents to stand at $65.85, Reuters reported.

The US administration is pushing the financial sanctions against Iran, which will be enforced from November this year and will also impact the country’s petroleum sector.

Iran is a major oil producer within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

According to a survey conducted by the news agency, the country produced around 3.65 million barrels per day of crude last month.

Despite support from the looming sanctions, analysts noted that oil markets were pulled down by worries of a slowdown in economic growth caused by the ongoing trade dispute between China and the US, as well as weakness in many emerging economies.

“Disappointing industrial data out of China along with concerns over emerging market economies centred on Turkey weighed on commodities.”

Later this month, China and the US are expected to discuss trade issues in an effort to find an amicable solution to the tariff war.

Shanghai crude futures for December delivery went down 3.4% to CNY488.2 ($71.02) per barrel.

Emirates NBD bank’s Edward Bell was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Disappointing industrial data out of China along with concerns over emerging market economies centred on Turkey weighed on commodities.”

Meanwhile, the oil rig count in the US remained unchanged at 869, according to data released by Baker Hughes.

Bell added: “The recent softening in benchmark prices should temper the pace of growth in US exploration and production activity, and lead to slower overall output growth.”

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