3 months ago
Commodities

Oil Prices Fall as Weak Chinese Data, Profit-Taking Weigh

Investing.com - Oil prices fell on Friday as signs of slowing growth in China dampened hopes for demand and investors

Investing.com - Oil prices fell on Friday as signs of slowing growth in China dampened hopes for demand and investors opted to take profits after a surge a day earlier.

New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 96 cents, or 1.83%, at $51.62 a barrel by 10:53 AM ET (15:53 GMT).

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., traded down 79 cents, or 1.29%, to $60.66.

China’s worse-than-expected retail sales saw their weakest growth in 15 years, while industrial output in the Asian giant rose the least amount in nearly three years, casting further doubt over demand from the world’s second-largest economy.

Friday’s decline in oil prices erased some of the nearly-3% gains a day earlier after updated forecasts from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said it expects a supply deficit in the second quarter of 2019 if OPEC and its allies move forward with plans to reduce output starting in January.

Worries of a global supply glut will remain in the spotlight on Friday as investors keep an eye on a measure of future U.S. output with Baker Hughes’ weekly data out at 1:00 PM (18:00 GMT).

The U.S. rig count dropped by 10 to 877 last week, while the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that U.S. oil production had fallen from a record high of 11.7 million barrels per day to 11.6 million, easing concerns over escalating production.

The IEA warned Thursday, however, that U.S. shale's influence over global crude markets would only get stronger.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures slumped 2.31% to $1.4464 a gallon by 10:58 AM ET (15:58 GMT), while heating oil dropped 0.87% to $1.8601 a gallon.

Lastly, natural gas futures traded down 5.63% to $3.892 per million British thermal units.