Oil futures were lower on Monday due to a much controlled trading followed by a rally for three weeks; however the losses were curbed by a sluggish dollar and China’s firm economic growth.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was 53 cents lower to $52.65 per barrel, and the benchmark Brent crude futures edged down by 44 cents to settle at $55.45.
China showed a strong March investment data overnight on its exports and retail sales. Considering that it’s one of the world’s largest oil consumers, the country might carry a strong economic movement all throughout spring. But, director of energy futures at Mizuho Americas Robert Yawger said that the Red Dragon’s strong Gross Domestic Product was offset by worries of profit taking and supply glut.
Just like with the stock market, trading volumes in oil were also lower. Only about 183,000 WTI contracts and 103,000 Brent futures contracts changed hands, almost 70 percent lower than the trading volume on Thursday. Europe focused on the on-going geopolitical tension given that the financial markets were shut across the region for Easter holiday.
The rising crude production in the United States has weakened the attempts OPEC and other producers to lessen a glut and to control output that has been hurting the price of oil. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to meet this May 25 to acknowledge prolonging the supply cuts before June.
Iran is anticipating the OPEC and non-OPEC producers to prolong the cuts; however an oil minister from Saudi Arabia said it was too early to talk about an extension.