Oil Prices Down As Weak Chinese Economic Data Fuels Concern

Yemisi Izuora

Oil prices slipped again on Tuesday after falling heavily in the previous session, as weak Chinese economic data for September added to lingering concerns about the feasibility of the U.S.-China trade deal announced by President Trump late last week.

Brent crude futures fell 30 cents, or 0.5 per cent to $59.067 barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate, WTI, crude futures was at $53.38 a barrel, down 21 cents or 0.4 per cent.

“China’s exports and imports shrunk more than expected in September, as ongoing tariffs and a slowdown in global trade undercut demand,” analysts at ANZ bank wrote in a research note.

Doubts over the agreement between Washington and Beijing, designed to end a brutal trade war between the world’s top two economies, also kept sentiment weak, ANZ said. The U.S.-China dispute has cast a shadow on global economic growth prospects, and left questionmarks over future oil demand.

A slide in China’s exports picked up pace in September, while imports contracted for a fifth straight month, pointing to further weakness in the economy and underlining the need for more stimulus as the U.S.-China trade war drags on.

The impact was enough to outweigh any support that prices might have received from geopolitical tensions surrounding the Middle East.

On Monday President Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey demanded the NATOally stop a military incursion in northeast Syria that is rapidly reshaping the battlefield of the world’s deadliest ongoing war.

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