oil prices drop on weak china data
Last Updated : GMT 20:27:03
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Oil prices drop on weak China data

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Oil prices drop on weak China data

London - AFP

Crude oil prices dropped on Friday in the wake of disappointing Chinese trade data and a downgrade to crude demand growth by the International Energy Agency. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September slid $1.38 a barrel to $111.84 in London midday trading. New York\'s main contract, light sweet crude for September, lost $1.06 to $92.30 a barrel. \"The dip in price was triggered by weaker Chinese import data,\" said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch. China\'s exports and imports slowed for the second consecutive month in July, official data showed Friday, highlighting worsening conditions in the world\'s second-biggest economy. The figures -- sharply below market expectations -- add to concerns that China\'s economy is still losing steam despite government efforts to prop up growth and investment to lessen the impact of the global slowdown. Analysts said the weak data created further impetus for Beijing to announce more stimulus policies. \"The economic data out of China certainly has been bearish... it\'s not good news and has prompted equities and oil futures to move down,\" said Victor Shum of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore. China\'s exports grew at a marginal one percent in July from a year earlier to US $176.9 billion (144 billion euros), the General Administration of Customs said in a statement, down from the 11.3 percent gain seen in June. Imports rose 4.7 percent year-on-year to $151.8 billion last month, it said, compared with the June increase of 6.3 percent indicating slowing domestic demand. The trade surplus narrowed to $25.1 billion last month from $31.7 billion in June. China, the world\'s biggest exporter, has been hit by weakness in overseas economies including debt-ravaged Europe, a key trading partner, while a sluggish property market and softening consumer spending have also dragged. Elsewhere Friday, the International Energy Agency said faltering economic growth would undercut global oil demand this year and next. \"Sluggish economic growth could restrict annual oil demand growth to 0.9 million barrels per day in 2012 and 0.8 mbpd in 2013, with demand averaging 89.6 mbpd and 90.5 mbpd,\" down from last month\'s estimates of 89.9 mbpd and 90.9 mbpd, respectively, the IEA said in its latest Oil Market Report. The IEA highlighted slower demand in the United States and China, which together account for a third of the global market, while technical changes in its calculations also cut its 2012 forecast by 0.25 mbpd. The IEA, set up to advise developed countries on energy policy, reduced its 2013 economic growth forecast to 3.6 percent from 3.8 percent but left its 2012 estimate unchanged at 3.3 percent. On Thursday, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased its global demand forecast marginally, to 88.72 mbpd from 88.68 mbpd in July. Demand for 2013 was put at 89.52 mbpd, up from 89.50 mbpd last month, representing an increase of 0.81 mbpd from 2012, it said. The drop in oil prices Friday comes after they hit a three-month high Thursday -- at $113.52 a barrel in London -- on buoyant US jobs data market, OPEC\'s data and some positive figures out of China, traders said. New York hit a three-month peak of $94.72 Wednesday, helped by Middle East tensions according to traders. Official data Thursday showed US weekly jobless claims fell to 361,000 -- another sign of moderate strength in the biggest economy\'s employment market despite a second-quarter lull in hiring. Markets also cheered news that China\'s inflation rate had fallen to 1.8 percent in July, the lowest since January 2010.

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