Oil prices down in Asian trade

AFP, Singapore :
Oil prices eased in Asian trade Monday after China’s 2013 economic growth came in at its slowest rate in 14 years, fuelling concerns over demand in the world’s second largest economy.
New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for February delivery, was down 76 cents at $93.61 a barrel in mid-morning trade, while Brent North Sea crude for March dropped 21 cents to $106.27.
China said Monday gross domestic grew 7.7 percent last year, the same as 2012 and in line with a median forecast in a survey of 14 economists by AFP. It also beat the government’s official target of 7.5 percent.
Growth for the October-December quarter also came in at 7.7 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, slowing from 7.8 percent in the previous three months. Kenny Kan, market analyst at CMC Markets, said the Chinese data “painted a dimmer picture for the energy sector”.
French lender Credit Agricole said the slowdown in quarter on quarter growth was overstated “due to lower number of working days” than in the previous three months.
China is the world’s biggest energy consuming nation and the health of its economy is closely watched by oil traders.
Kan said oil prices also were under pressure over concerns about a oversupply in the United States.
Ali Al Naimi, the Oil Minister of Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said the OPEC cartel kingpin is unconcerned by a boom in US shale oil production.

Your email address will not be published.