Oil Settles Lower On Weak Data, Trade Deal Uncertainty

Crude oil prices edged lower on Monday amid concerns over the outlook for energy demand after data showed another drop in Chinese exports and on uncertainty about the U.S. and China signing a phase one deal before the commencement of the next round of tariff hikes.

Traders also appeared keen on cutting down positions ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement, due on Wednesday.

Traders are also looking ahead to the first policy meeting of new ECB President Christine Lagarde.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended down $0.18, or about 0.3%, at $59.02 a barrel.

Brent crude futures settled lower by $0.14, or about 0.2%, at $64.25 a barrel.

On Friday, WTI Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.77, or 1.3%, at $59.20 a barrel.

WTI Crude oil futures gained about 7% last week, lifted by news the OPEC and allies have decided to deepen production cuts.

Last week, the OPEC and a 10-nation coalition led by Russia, called OPEC+, agreed to deepen oil production cuts in order to prevent oversupply in the market. The new deal agreed upon during the Vienna meet will apply for the first three months of 2020.

The move follows the recommendation of the oil exporting countries to deepen the cuts by 500,000 barrels per day to existing 1.2 million barrels per day. The total curb of 1.7 million barrels per day would amount to 1.7% of global crude supply.

However, with worries about U.S.-China trade tensions escalating a bit after top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that a Dec. 15 deadline is still in place to impose a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese consumer goods, oil prices edged lower in today’s session.

Weak exports data from China underscored persistent pressures on manufacturers from the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war.

Data released over the weekend showed China’s exports shrank for the fourth consecutive month in November, although imports came in better than expected, suggesting that Beijing’s stimulus efforts are working.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com