Market Overview

Chinese GDP A Relief For Brent Prices

Chinese GDP A Relief For Brent Prices

Brent crude oil started off the week on a high after investors let out a collective sigh of relief when data showed the Chinese economy grew in line with expectations. The commodity traded at $108.87 at 5:26 GMT on Monday morning.

After months of lackluster data, China bounced back with GDP growth in the second quarter that met investor expectations. The world's second largest oil consumer posted 7.5 percent GDP growth. Although the figure marks China's ninth economic slowdown in 10 quarters, investors who were expecting to see the nation's GDP come in much lower than original estimates were relieved.

Further support came from data which showed that the nation's implied oil demand and crude runs in Chinese refineries were both on the rise in June. CNBC reported that the nation's implied oil demand rose to 9.94 million barrels per day in June, a figure which is almost 10 percent higher than the number reported in June of last year.

Related: Benzinga Market Primer for July 15, 2013

Geopolitical concerns have also buoyed Brent prices recently as investors worry about ongoing conflict in Africa and the Middle East disrupting supply. The overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has been in the forefront of investors' minds as they worry about damage and disruption at the Suez Canal, where much of the world's oil is shipped.

Thus far, no damage has been reported and the Egyptian interim prime minister worked to fill his cabinet over the weekend and began to take steps to restore stability in the nation.

Focus has begun to shift back to Iran and the country's disputed nuclear program. Despite several talks with Western diplomats, the country has pressed on with uranium enrichment efforts. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remarked Iran was moving closer the “red line” he set for Tehran's nuclear program back in September at a United Nations meeting.

At the meeting, Netanyahu drew a red line on a cartoon drawing of a nuclear point to drive home the point at which Iran will have enough uranium for one nuclear bomb.

Posted-In: Benjamin Netanyahu Mohamed MorsiNews Commodities Forex Global Markets Best of Benzinga


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