Oil Prices Fall 1% on Weak China Trade Data (REALCOMMODITY.COM: 8077694749, 9720148005)

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Oil prices fell 1% on Monday in Asia after China reported weakening imports and exports in the world’s second-largest crude oil consumer.

Crude Oil WTI Futures was down 1.1%, at $51.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange by 12:37 AM ET (05:37 GMT).

Meanwhile, the global benchmark, Brent Oil Futures for March delivery also shed 1.1% to $59.83.

“Crude futures were back in the red as trading began for a fresh week in Asia, in tandem with most of the region’s stock markets … (as) China early Monday reported $351.76 billion trade surplus in dollar terms for 2018, the lowest since 2013,” said energy consultant Vandana Hari of Vanda Insights in a note on Monday.

Oil Futures recorded their biggest weekly gain in six months last week thanks to data showing output declines among major oil producers and a weekly fall in U.S. crude inventories. Optimism surrounding a possible resolution to the U.S.-China trade dispute also contributed to gains.

For the week, the U.S. benchmark rose about 7.6%, its biggest weekly gain since June. It rallied about 6% for the week.

Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and its non-member allies led by Russia agreed to collectively cut production by a total of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first six months of 2019 in an effort to stave off a global glut in supplies.

Baker Hughes reported Friday that the number of domestic rigs drilling for oil fell by 4 to 873 in the week to Jan. 4.

It was the second straight weekly decline in the rig count, suggesting a slowdown in crude production.


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