Oil Down 4th Week in Row as Weak China Demand Adds to US Woes

Oil barrelsInternationalIndiaAfricaNEW YORK (Sputnik) – Crude prices settled down a fourth week in a row as weaker-than-expected post-COVID growth in top oil importer China added to the anxiety of investors in a market already disillusioned by a raft of US worries that include a banking and debt crisis. New York-traded West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, crude settled Friday’s trade down 83 cents, or 1.2%, at $70.04 per barrel. For the week, the US crude benchmark showed a loss of 1.8%. Over the past four weeks combined, WTI was down 15%. London-traded Brent crude settled Friday’s session down 81 cents, or 1.1%, at $74.17. The global oil benchmark showed a drop of 1.5% on the week and almost 14% over the past four weeks.

Until early this week, the sell-off in oil was driven largely by the failure of regional and mid-sized US banks, political wrangling that could lead to the first-ever debt default by the United States and recession fears that have been growing by the day.

In recent days though, an old phenomena appeared to be making a comeback and could no longer be ignored – weak demand from China. Analysts say the world’s second largest economy isn’t rebounding as fast as many thought it would after abandoning all caution over COVID. And that is a problem for most commodities, including oil and copper, which count heavily on Chinese buying. Data out of Beijing on Thursday showed Chinese consumer inflation barely grew in April, while producer inflation sank to its weakest level since the peak of the pandemic in 2020. EconomyOminous Omen From ‘Oracle of Omaha’? Buffett Unloads Billions in US Stocks, Warns of AI ‘Atom Bomb’7 May, 14:16 GMTChinese trade data earlier this week was also disappointing, showing an economy struggling to pick up despite various stimulus measures put into place since the country turned its back on COVID lockdowns early this year. While headlines about oil output disruptions in Iraq and Canada had provided some fleeting support to crude prices, the broader market sentiment was down “as crude demand concerns emerged from both the US and China,” noted Ed Moya, analyst at online trading platform OANDA.


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