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Oil prices fall on China economic growth fears, stronger dollar

Published Aug 13, 2023 10:05PM ET Updated Aug 14, 2023 09:25AM ET
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Investing.com -- Crude oil prices retreated Monday, pressured by renewed concerns over China’s economic recovery as well as a stronger U.S. dollar.

By 09:10 ET (13.10 GMT), the U.S. crude futures traded 1.1% lower at $82.30 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 1% to $85.95. 

Property woes slow China’s economic recovery

Chinese residential real estate giant Country Garden (HK:2007) suspended trading in more than ten of its onshore bonds on Monday, sparking a sell-off in the company's Hong Kong-listed shares given the signs of stress in the country's ailing property sector.

This is another headwind slowing the recovery of the Chinese economy from its COVID hit, an economy that was meant to be the source of the majority of crude demand growth this year given the aggressive monetary tightening that many of the western economies were struggling with.

China is the second largest economy in the world, and is also the largest importer of crude.   

While government officials have promised to roll out more stimulus measures to support growth, they have provided few actual details on how said stimulus will be unlocked.

The focus this week is now on retail sales and industrial production data, due on Tuesday. Both readings are expected to have declined further in July.

Dollar strength hitting crude

The strength of the U.S. dollar is also hurting the oil markets, with the greenback sitting at a five-week high after last week’s inflation readings provided more ammunition for the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates higher for longer.

A stronger dollar makes commodities priced in the greenback, like crude, more expensive, likely hitting demand among international buyers.

Seven consecutive positive weeks

All that said, the oil markets have just registered seven weeks of gains on tightening supply after output cuts from primarily Saudi Arabia and Russia, under the umbrella of lower production targets by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+.

“Sentiment remains largely positive with the oil balance set to continue to tighten, while stronger refinery margins are also providing some support,” analysts at ING said, in a note.

That sentiment could be changing, though, as speculators have become reluctant to add to their positions, reducing their net long positions in Brent over the last reporting week.

This suggests the market could now be in an overbought situation, with a correction possible in the coming days.

(Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

 
Oil prices fall on China economic growth fears, stronger dollar
 

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Comments (3)
Aug 14, 2023 9:31AM ET
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shut up.. china fears
Adam Sam
Adam Sam Aug 14, 2023 1:49AM ET
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inflation only effect oil badly but never effect Nasdaq badly what a joke, more reports like this ... OPEC will cute more
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Aug 14, 2023 1:49AM ET
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no they won't..... in reality watch what the individual members due not what they say...
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Aug 14, 2023 1:49AM ET
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watch the crack charts it will generally give direction
Derick Lim
Derick Lim Aug 14, 2023 1:49AM ET
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Maybe unlike Oil there's AI to save Nasdaq from dipping
Cynthia HeiseSwartz
Cynthia HeiseSwartz Aug 13, 2023 11:23PM ET
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“Oh my god! Rising US inflation!? Quick, I need to sell my oil, and my corn and my wheat and my silver and my copper and my stocks and all other currencies and put all my money into the US dollar! Whew! NOW that it’s all in US dollars I’m safe from US inflation!”
 
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