Crude oil futures settled sharply lower on Monday, extending losses to a third session, amid worries about outlook for energy demand after data showed China’s industrial production slowed down in the month of July.
Oil prices found some support on reports that OPEC and allies are of the view that the markets do not need more oil than they plan to release in the coming months and that there is no need to release more oil despite U.S. pressure to check oil prices.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended down by $1.15 or about 1.7% at $67.29 a barrel.
Brent crude futures were down $0.91 or 1.3% at $69.68 a barrel a little while ago.
China’s industrial production growth slowed to 6.4% in July from 8.3% a month ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed Monday. Output was expected to gain 7.8%.
Retail sales grew at a slower pace of 8.5% on a yearly basis, following a 12.1% rise in June. This was also weaker than the economists’ forecast of 11.5%.
New York manufacturing activity saw significantly slower growth in the month of August, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index plunged to 18.3 in August from 43.0 in July. While a positive reading still indicates growth, economists had expected the index to show a much more modest drop to 30.0.
Traders also continued to react to last week’s report from the International Energy Agency which said demand for crude oil is expected to rise at a slower rate over the rest of this year due to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus in several countries.
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