Brent Dips On Weak Chinese Data
Brent crude oil suffered after weaker than expected Chinese trade data brought demand concerns to the front of investors' minds.
The commodity traded at $107.64 at 7:18 GMT on Thursday morning as investors took profits following two days of gains.
CNBC reported that data from China showed that the nation's exports fell for the second month in a row in March, and imports also declined sharply. Data out on Thursday showed that China's exports were down 6.6 percent from a year ago, compared to forecasts for an increase of four percent. Imports fell 11.3 per cent from a year ago, also missing expectations of a 2.4 percent increase.
The data added to a growing list of weaker than expected Chinese data, which has many convinced that the nation will struggle to kick start its stalling economy.
See also: What's Going On With The Financials?
However, optimistic demand growth outlooks for both China and the US helped keep a floor under prices. China's customs bureau announced that it had seen a rise in the second quarter as the trade environment improved.
Also, the release of Federal Reserve meeting minutes helped calm worries about a pull back in stimulus earlier than expected. The minutes showed that the bank was planning to be more cautious about ending its taper and raising interest rates than was previously perceived.
Brent also found support from the ongoing geopolitical tension in both Ukraine and Libya where conflict continues to pose a threat to supply.
In Libya, the nation's crude exports are slowly picking up as rebel groups reopen the nation's export terminals. Although the nation's state-run Petroleum Facilities Guard has taken control of some of the oilfields, others are still completely controlled by rebel groups.
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