Oil fell as China lowered its target for economic growth, fanning concerns about fuel demand in the world’s second-biggest economy, while OPEC member Libya restarted its biggest oil field.
Futures in New York slid 0.4 percent, trimming Monday’s 1.4 percent advance. China cut its target for gross domestic product in 2019 to a range of 6 to 6.5 percent, according to an annual report by the country’s premier. Libya’s Sharara oil field resumed pumping following an unplanned shutdown in December, complicating efforts by other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to avert a global surplus.
Oil has rallied about 24 percent this year as OPEC and its allies, including Russia, restrain production to avert a supply glut. But the surge has been capped by worries about oil demand, as the global economy looks increasingly fragile and slowing economic growth in China is exacerbated by a prolonged trade dispute with the U.S.
West Texas Intermediate for April delivery was down 25 cents at $56.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:52 a.m. London time. It climbed 79 cents on Monday as the U.S. and China were said to be near a settlement of their trade dispute.
Brent for May settlement traded down 37 cents at $65.30 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude’s premium over WTI for the same month narrowed to $8.57 a barrel.
Source : Bloomberg