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Oil prices inch down on weaker US consumer demand ahead of China data

By Thomson Reuters Jun 16, 2024 | 7:59 PM

By Colleen Howe

Oil prices slipped in early Asian trading on Monday after a survey on Friday showed weaker U.S. consumer demand and as traders awaited the release of key economic data from China, the world’s biggest crude importer.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 15 cents, or 0.18%, at $82.47 per barrel at 0034 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 16 cents, or 0.2%, at $78.29 a barrel.

That followed prices slipping on Friday after a survey showed U.S. consumer sentiment fell to a seven-month low in June, with households worried about their personal finances and inflation.

However, both benchmark contracts still gained nearly 4% last week, the highest weekly rise in percentage terms since April, on signs of stronger fuel demand.

Economic data from China on Monday will set the tone for commodity markets this week, ANZ analysts said in a note.

China’s refinery throughput will offer an indicator of oil demand, while retail sales, business investment, industrial production, and house price figures will give a clearer picture of economic activity in the world’s largest crude oil importer.

Producer and consumer data last week showed the country is still grappling with deflation.

Markets in key oil trading hub Singapore and other countries in the region were closed for a public holiday on Monday.

(Reporting by Colleen Howe; Editing by Sonali Paul)