Oil Prices: Oil prices ease on weaker economic data from China and Japan | International Business News

NEW DELHI: Oil prices fell on Wednesday, giving up earlier gains, after China and Japan reported weak economic data, fueling concerns over growth and oil demand among major global consumers.
Brent crude futures fell 34 cents, or 0.3%, to $104.30 a barrel at 0501 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 46 cents, or 0.5%, to $100.14 a barrel. Both contracts had jumped more than 6% in the previous session.
China’s crude oil imports fell 14% from a year earlier, extending a two-month decline as strict measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 impacted demand from the world’s top importer of crude oil. raw.
The world’s top buyer of crude oil imported 42.71 million tonnes last month, or 10.06 million barrels a day, according to data from the General Administration of Customs released on Wednesday.
Oil prices had rebounded on Tuesday as reports of a partial easing of some of China’s strict Covid-19 lockdowns helped fuel bullish sentiment among market participants.
However, Asia remains less optimistic about the Covid situation in China than overseas markets, said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
The Chinese city of Shanghai warned on Wednesday that anyone who violates strict Covid-19 lockdown rules will be dealt with harshly, while rallying people to defend their city as its number of new cases rebounded to more than 25 000.
On Wednesday, Japan reported its biggest monthly decline in basic machinery orders in nearly two years in February, led by a sharp drop in demand from IT and other services firms.
Still, oil prices are supported by falling Russian production of oil and gas condensates, while OPEC has warned that it will be impossible to replace potential supply losses from Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused Ukraine of derailing peace talks and said Moscow would not release what he calls a “special operation” to disarm its western neighbor.
“Vladimir Putin’s statements that negotiations with Ukraine were at an impasse, and President Biden’s comments accusing Russia of genocide reinforce the fact that the situation between Ukraine and Russia will not deescalate anytime soon – another reason to expect the decline in oil prices to be limited,” Hally said.
In the United States, crude stocks rose sharply last week while stocks of distillates and gasoline fell, according to market sources citing figures from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday.
The 7.8 million barrel increase in crude inventories for the week ended April 8 reported by API is higher than the 900,000 barrel increase estimated in a Reuters poll.
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