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Brent Steady On Rare Positive Chinese Data

Brent Steady On Rare Positive Chinese Data

Brent crude oil was steady at $108.00 at 6:08 GMT on Thursday morning after better than expected trade data from China, but dissipating geopolitical tension in Ukraine.

Customs data from the world’s second largest oil consumer showed that imports were up 22.4 percent from March to April. Exports were also modestly higher and beat expectations of a decline.

Crude oil imports were promising; after falling below 6 million barrels per day in March, China’s oil imports rose to 6.78 million bpd in April. The nation’s trade surplus came in at $18.5 billion for March, much higher than the forecast surplus of $13.9 billion.

See also: The Futility Of Attempting To Predict The Markets

Also positive for Brent was data from the Energy Information Administration, which confirmed that US stocks dropped last week despite expectations for a 1.4 million barrel rise.

CNBC reported that the EIA’s report on Wednesday showed that US crude inventories were down 1.8 million barrels last week, which lifted both Brent and WTI.

Brent prices were under some pressure after Russian President Vladimir Putin took his first major step towards diffusing the tension in Ukraine by asking pro-Russian separatists to hold off on a secession vote less than a week before it was schedule to take place.

Many believe that Putin’s appeal may have brought the eastern European nation back from the brink of a civil war. Moving forward, Brent could be under more pressure if Putin proves to be committed to ending the conflict peacefully.

However Brent did have some geopolitical support from problems in Libya, where rebel groups were unwilling to return control of two export terminals to the government.

Despite an earlier agreement, the rebels announced on Wednesday that they would keep the ports closed in boycott of Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq.


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