Oil prices steady with China rates, OPEC meeting in focus

As the world’s largest importer, China, maintained its benchmark interest rate on Monday, oil prices in Asian trading saw minimal movement. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ next meeting was also a major topic of discussion. Fears of increasing demand and statistics, especially from the U.S. and OPEC, suggesting that supplies were not as tight …

As the world’s largest importer, China, maintained its benchmark interest rate on Monday, oil prices in Asian trading saw minimal movement. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ next meeting was also a major topic of discussion. Fears of increasing demand and statistics, especially from the U.S. and OPEC, suggesting that supplies were not as tight as initially anticipated have caused prices to decline for four weeks running. By 20:33 ET (01:33 GMT), West Texas Intermediate crude prices increased by 0.2% to $76.22 a barrel, while Brent oil futures increased by 0.2% to $80.78 a barrel. The United States’ oil inventories increased more than anticipated, according to data released last week, even though output was still relatively near to record high levels. This was in addition to indications that OPEC members other than Russia and Saudi Arabia have recently raised their petroleum output. Fears that the world’s oil demand will decline in the upcoming months increased in response to weak economic statistics from a number of major economies. On Monday, China continued to bolster the economy by rolling out further liquidity injections while maintaining record lows for the benchmark loan prime rate. Although China’s oil imports have not changed over the previous year, the country’s deteriorating economic situation has made it uncertain whether the country’s oil consumption would continue to be robust. In addition, China has amassed substantial oil reserves and has just tightened regulations on domestic refineries. Another issue the nation is dealing with is a protracted slowdown in the real estate sector, which is a key engine of the economy.

 

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