Oil sheds more than $1 as China data disappoints

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Oil prices dropped for a second session on Monday as weak China economic data triggered concerns about demand at the world’s largest crude importer while the head of the world’s top exporter, Saudi Aramco, said it was ready to ramp up output.

Brent crude futures fell 89 cents, to $97.26 a barrel  after settling 1.5% lower on Friday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $91.27 a barrel, down 82 cents, after a 2.4% drop in the previous session.

China’s economy unexpectedly slowed in July, while refinery output tumbled to 12.53 million barrels per day, its lowest since March 2020, government data showed.

Oil prices rebounded more than 3% last week after a damaged oil pipeline component disrupted output at several offshore Gulf of Mexico platforms and as investors pared back expectations for interest rate increases in the United States.

Producers had moved to reactivate some of the halted production after repairs were completed late Friday, a Louisiana official said.

Energy services firm Baker Hughes Co BKR.O reported on Friday that U.S. oil rig count rose by 3 to 601 last week. The rig count, an early indicator of future output, has been slow to grow with oil production only seen recovering from pandemic-related cuts next year.

Global oil markets remained supported by tight supplies in the run-up to EU sanctions on Russian crude oil and refined product supplies this winter.




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