(London) Oil prices fell on Monday, derailing investors’ concern over oil demand in China as the country receives COVID-19 traction and the latest economic data is disappointing.
At 10:05 a.m. Monday, the North Sea Brent barrel for October delivery was down 2.90% at $ 68.64 in London.
In New York, the US barrel of WTI lost 3.24% to $ 66.22 in September.
Two benchmark crude prices fell for two consecutive sessions on Thursday and Friday.
The National Bureau of Statistics (SNB) on Monday shared the latest figures on industrial production in China, which rose 6.4% year-on-year in July.
However this rate is lower than the previous month and analysts’ expectations.
In addition, retail sales in China have experienced their weakest growth since the beginning of the year in July, a situation linked to other factors such as the “epidemic outbreak in China,” according to the BNS.
“Markets view the development of the health condition in China with skepticism,” Onda analyst Jeffrey Haley reported, and the data “fueled general concern over the slow recovery” of the world’s second largest consumer and gross largest importer.
“Concerns about the spread of the Delta variant in the country” and “its impact on oil demand will continue to be on prices,” said Commerce Bank’s Carsten Fritz.
There were 51 new cases reported in the country on Monday, 13 of which were from local sources.
This number is still very limited compared to those registered in other countries. But the focus is geographically, the largest in China in recent months.
China, which has largely controlled the COVID-19 pandemic since the spring of 2020, has been experiencing an increase in pollution in its soil since last month.