Oil prices drop amid faltering demand outlook in China


Oil prices fell more than 1% on Monday, dropping for a third session, after official data showed that refining and economic activity slowed in China.

Brent crude was down 90 cents at $69 a barrel. U.S. oil fell by 97 cents to $67.47 a barrel.

Meanwhile, factory output and retail sales growth slowed sharply in July in China, missing expectations as fresh outbreaks of COVID-19 and flooding disrupted business activity.

China’s crude oil processing last month also fell to the lowest on a daily basis since May 2020, as independent refiners cut production amid tighter quotas, elevated inventories and falling profits. 

In Japan, the world’s fourth-biggest importer of crude oil, many analysts expect modest economic growth in the current quarter as state of renewed emergency restrictions to deal with record cases of infections weigh on household spending.

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