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Oil falls back to $ 60 on concerns about China's decline



LONDON (Reuters) – Oil slipped to about $ 60 a day. Barrel Monday after the data showed a weakening of imports and exports in China, the world's second largest oil consumer, increasing the prospect of a slowdown in fuel demand.

FILE PHOTO: A pumping jack operates in the oil field of Permian Basin near Wink, Texas on August 22, 2018. Picture taken August 22, 2018. REUTERS / Nick Oxford / Photo / Photo

China's exports fell for a maximum of two years in December While the imports were concluded, official figures showed and pointed to further weakness in what is also the world's second largest economy.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, dropped 50 cents to $ 59.98 per. Barrel pr. 0932 GMT, trading as low as $ 59.37 intraday. US raw materials slid 41 cents to $ 51.18.

"Both import and export disappointed expectations and are set to revive the fear of a global downturn," said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.

Crude gave a previous win after the release on Monday of the Chinese figures, the latest to point to an economic downturn since the second half of 2018. Asian stock markets also declined and European equities fell in early trading.

"Oil prices are weakened by the prospects of weaker economic growth in China," said Stephen Innes for futures broker Oanda in a report.

"These data drove home, how negatively a trade war has on the Chinese and perhaps global economy."

Despite concerns over the prospects, there is little evidence that Chinese demand for oil has weakened yet. China's crude imports in December rose almost 30 percent from the previous year, Reuters's data on customs data showed.

Oil draws support from supply cuts led by the Organization for Petroleum Exporting and Non-OPEC Allies, including Russia.

In December, the producer group, known as OPEC +, decided to reduce oil production by 1.2 million barrels. Day starting in January to prevent supply gluten and increase prices.

With the increase in Brent from a dip below $ 50 in December, OPEC officials are more confident that prices will be supported by production declines in January, as manufacturers implement the agreement.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Sunday the oil market was "on track" and there was no need for an extraordinary OPEC meeting before its next scheduled meeting in April.

Further reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing Dale Hudson

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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