Oil Prices Edge Up In Cautious Trade

18.10.2019 10:44 (UTC +0)

Oil prices edged up slightly on Friday but remained on track for a weekly loss amid signs that the U.S.-China trade war is taking a toll on global growth.

Benchmark Brent crude rose 0.25 percent to $60.05 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.8 percent at $54.36 per barrel.

Signs of rising U.S. crude inventories, disappointing Chinese data and uncertainty about final approval of the draft Brexit deal kept investors nervous ahead of the weekend.

Equity markets across Asia and Europe fell today after weak GDP data raised fresh worries over the health of the world's second-largest economy.

China's economy grew at the slowest rate in nearly three decades in the third quarter, raising pressure on policymakers to roll out more measures.

China's GDP grew 6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter after rising 6.2 percent in the second quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said. This was the slowest growth since early 1990s. Growth was forecast to slow marginally to 6.1 percent.

Industrial production advanced 5.8 percent annually in September after rising 4.4 percent in August and 4.8 percent in July. Output was expected to climb 4.9 percent.

Annual growth in retail sales increased to 7.8 percent, in line with expectations. During January to September, fixed asset investment grew 5.4 percent, which was slightly slower than the forecast of 5.5 percent increase.

On the Brexit front, doubts swirled both about the merits of Boris Johnson's Brexit deal and about the likelihood of the deal getting through the British parliament.

Adding to the downward pressure, U.S. crude inventories rose by 9.3 million barrels in the week through Oct. 11, the EIA data showed on Thursday, beating analyst estimates for a 3 million-barrel gain.

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