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Oil traded lower on fears of economic slowdown

2019-03-22 09:31 am | Resource: News | No Views : 144

Crude oil prices fell on Friday as fears over a global economic slowdown overtook Opec's efforts to balance the oil market by implementing production cuts.

OPEC-led production cuts, as well as US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, have pushed crude futures to their highest level since Nov. 12. However, the disappointing PMI figures from Japan and Germany contributed to the drop in oil prices from a four-month high.

Concerns about economic slowdown in Germany and Japan
  • Japan's manufacturing activity showed a slowdown, according to the IHS Markit on Friday. The Nikkei Japan Flash Index of industrial purchasing managers did not change in March, at 48.9. The report said manufacturing production fell at the fastest pace in nearly three years as new orders fell faster than February.
  • German private sector activity rose at a slower pace in March, according to a preliminary report released by IHS Markit on Friday. The IHS Markit Flash PMI output index in Germany reached 51.5 this month, down from 52.8 in February, its lowest expansion in nearly six years.

Meanwhile, investors waited for the number of US oil platforms at Baker Hughes due later today. OPEC and its allies face a tough challenge to a jump of more than 2 million bpd in US crude oil production since early 2018 to a record 12.1 million barrels.

Oil futures trading
  • The Brent International Index for delivery in May fell 0.74% to sell at 67.29 dollars a barrel at 1107 am Central Europeans
  • US WTI Crude Oil (WTI) delivery in May fell 0.67% to $ 59.58 a barrel at 5:06 pm Eastern Time.

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