Oil set for third weekly gain due to strong Chinese economic data

On Friday, oil prices surged, marking their third consecutive weekly gain. This uptick was driven by encouraging Chinese economic data surpassing expectations and reports indicating record-breaking oil consumption. These developments reinforce the belief that demand in the world’s second-largest consumer of crude oil is poised for continued growth.

At 0630 GMT, Brent crude futures climbed by 65 cents, representing a 0.7% increase, reaching $94.35. Simultaneously, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) saw a gain of 67 cents, also a 0.7% rise, reaching $90.83.

Both benchmark prices had increased by approximately 4% compared to their levels from one week ago.

In August, China’s industrial output and retail sales exhibited a faster-than-anticipated growth rate. This suggests that the world’s second-largest economy is showing signs of stabilization after a prolonged period of uncertainty.

Information released by the National Bureau on Friday also revealed that oil refinery processing reached an all-time high of 64.69 million tonnes in August. This marked a substantial increase of 19.6% compared to the previous year, equivalent to a daily output of 15.23 million barrels per day (bpd).

Refining throughput experienced a notable surge as Chinese processors maintained high run rates to meet the demand associated with summer travel and take advantage of improved profit margins for exporting to Asian markets.

„Betting on oil is becoming a favourite trade on Wall Street. No one is doubting the OPEC+ (oil-producing nations) decision at the end of last month will keep the oil market very tight in the fourth quarter,“ stated analyst Edward Moya of OANDA.

China’s record-breaking refining rates coincide with output reductions by major producers like Russia and Saudi Arabia, intensifying concerns about the global oil supply. These supply-related worries have propelled both Brent and WTI prices to their highest levels since November.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced this week that it anticipates the extended oil output cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia to lead to a market deficit during the fourth quarter.

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