Oil steady after Chinese economic data offsets demand hopes

by Jonathan Adams
Crude oil prices

Global benchmark Brent crude futures were up 6 cents at $82.68 a barrel, and U.S. WTI crude futures gained 2 cents to $78.47

Oil was steady on Monday after Chinese economic data underscoring a bumpy recovery for the world’s largest crude importer offset hopes for a boost to demand from the summer driving season in the northern hemisphere.

Apart from retail sales that beat forecasts due to a holiday boost, the string of Chinese data on Monday was largely downbeat. The data followed a survey on Friday showing U.S. consumer sentiment dropped to a seven-month low in June.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures were up 6 cents at $82.68 a barrel at 0805 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 2 cents to $78.47.

Last week, both benchmarks posted their first weekly gain in four weeks on elevated confidence that oil inventories are set to slump as the summer season gets under way in the northern hemisphere.

The move higher was not unreservedly convincing, said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM of last week’s gains. Further weakness is observed this morning because of sluggish Chinese factory activity, Varga added.

Reports from OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) last week, although differing on the strength of oil demand growth this year, had supported confidence that inventories would be drawn down in H2.

Last week’s strong rally was fuelled by predictions of strong 2024 demand from OPEC+ and the IEA. However, given OPEC’s vested interest in crude oil, there is some scepticism around OPEC’s forecasts, said Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG in Singapore.

He added: Friday’s soft U.S. consumer confidence figures suggest that the resilience of the American consumer and the U.S. economy will be tested as households run down their savings to combat higher interest rates and cost-of-living pressures.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by our writers are their own and do not represent the views of Trading and Investment News. The information provided on Trading and Investment News is intended for informational purposes only. Trading and Investment News is not liable for any financial losses incurred. Conduct your own research by contacting financial experts before making any investment decisions.

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