By Geoffrey Smith
Investment.com – Crude oil prices fell on Friday but remained fairly comfortable above $ 60 / barrel, the market appears to be entering a new range thanks to strong economic numbers from the US and China for the week. this.
China’s gross domestic product rose to a record 18.3% year-on-year in the first quarter, a figure that has been greatly inflated due to the overall economic shutdown last year in the first wave of the pandemic. Quarterly, the numbers are less impressive, with GDP growing only 0.6% – lower than expected. Even so, both retail sales and investment in fixed assets both saw strong growth in March.
The numbers come a day after US retail sales data for March showed the lack of wholesale restraint among American households as the latest stimulus test landed on the accounts. account nationwide. Unemployment claims and earlier data on Friday, house numbers and building permit numbers for March also reinforced confidence in the outlook for improving oil demand.
“Stimulus measures, up to $ 16 trillion, account for 15% of global GDP, support the global economy and thereby restore oil demand,” said Petrologica analysts at Petrologica. “There is still a downside risk to demand from the virus mutations, although there is a possibility of a price increase if forecasters underestimate the level of pent-up demand.”
By 11:45 AM ET (15:45 GMT), futures prices fell 0.5% at $ 63.14 / barrel, while futures prices fell 0.2% at $ 62.81 / barrel. The decline was only more than profit taking at the end of the week when both markets gained nearly 5%.
Prices have been trading steady above $ 60 since OPEC and the International Energy Agency revised their forecasts of world demand for this year in their respective monthly reports this week. Markets – for the most part – have denied evidence that the pandemic will continue to significantly influence demand in much of the rest of the world beyond the two largest economies. Data from India earlier on Friday showed that demand for gasoline, jet fuel and liquefied gas all fell in the first half of April under the weight of widespread door locks to curb rates of spread. infection is rampant. According to Argus Media, gasoline demand decreased 5% and diesel oil demand decreased 3% compared to March.
India, the world’s second-largest net oil importer, reported 217,000 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, a new record high.
Late Friday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will release a weekly update on, while the weekly rig count will be due at 1pm ET.
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