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January 17, 2020

Oil prices remain steady amid weak Chinese economic data

Oil prices have remained steady as weak economic growth in China offset the US-China phase one trade deal optimism.

By Himaja Ganta

Oil prices have remained steady as weak economic growth in China offset the US-China phase one trade deal optimism.

According to Reuters, Brent crude futures rose $0.12 to $64.74 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up $0.11 cents at $58.63 a barrel.

CMC Markets market analyst Margaret Yang said: “A well-expected fourth-quarter China GDP rate (6%) provided little clue for oil price trading on Friday morning, and mounting downward economic pressure will perhaps limit oil’s upside in the mid- to long-term.”

Post the signing of the US and China interim trade deal, oil prices increased. The US Senate granted changes to the US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement, helping oil prices increase further.

According to official data, Chinese refineries processed 651.98 million tonnes (Mt) of crude oil in 2019. This is equal to 13.04 million barrels a day.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported a dim outlook of the oil market for 2020.

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Singapore OCBC bank economist Howie Lee said: “The next big factor I see on the horizon is whether OPEC+ would want to extend its cuts beyond Q1 2020, which at current price levels I think they might be incentivised to do.”

Meanwhile, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said that he expects the meeting of OPEC+ producers this March to be positive.

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