Brent Retreats Modestly On Mixed Chinese Data
After geopolitical tension took Brent crude oil prices to a six week high on Tuesday, the commodity retreated towards $109 on mixed Chinese data and slowly increasing exports from Libya.
Brent traded at $109.20 at 6:05 GMT on Wednesday morning, still supported by growing worries about the conflict in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Kiev launched a “special operation” against pro-Russian protesters who had taken over several government buildings in Eastern Ukraine.
However, CNBC reported that the operation was more bark than bite as Ukrainian forces did little more than land airborne troops.
The region’s simmering tension has many worried that Russia will decided to intervene as it did in Crimea in order to protect Russian speaking citizens in eastern Ukraine.
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The US and its allies have warned Moscow against more military action, but the Kremlin has been accused of starting the protests in an effort to create a need for the Russian military.
Gains from the problems in Ukraine were capped by mixed data from China. The nation’s first quarter GDP exceeded expectations and slowed to 7.4 percent, but March industrial output figures left something to be desired by increasing just 8.8 percent, less than was forecast.
The industrial production report was a massive blow to investors who were hoping that the nation’s soft February data was the result of the Chinese New Year holiday.
However, the region’s disappointing industrial production figure indicated that China’s economic growth continued to slow into the second quarter.
Now, the nation’s central bank will be under pressure as more calls for policy changes and economic support resound in the markets.
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