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June 18, 2019

Oil prices decline on signs of weak economic growth worldwide

Oil prices have declined for a second day on signs that economic growth worldwide is being hit by the trade disputes between the US and China.

Oil prices have declined for a second day on signs that economic growth worldwide is being hit by the trade disputes between the US and China.

However, losses were restricted due to tensions in the Middle East following attacks on two oil tankers. Brent crude futures were declining 40 cents at $60.54 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 28 cents at $51.65, Reuters reported.

The New York Federal Reserve’s gauge of business growth in New York state declined in June to its weakest level in more than two and a half years. As tensions over trade have escalated between China and the US, business sentiment in the US has slumped.

Vanguard Markets managing partner Stephen Innes told Reuters: “The (oil) market is in a rut and desperately in need of some robust economic data to get it out of this funk.”

Later in June, US President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping are expected to meet at the G20 summit in Japan, for which China has not declared any confirmation.

Oil prices further came under pressure after the US energy department said that shale oil output is expected to reach a record next month. But analysts said that prices will gain some support due to Middle East tensions.

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Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih requested cooperation among countries to keep shipping lanes open for oil and other energy supplies for stable supplies. Investors are also awaiting a meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia to take a call with regard to extension of a production cut agreement that will come to an end in June.

al-Falih said that the meeting is likely to take place the week after the G20 summit in Osaka on 28-29 June.

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