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Oil adds 2 cents taking rate to $44.31 a barrel, Asian shares unchanged

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

23rd Jul, 2020. 09:36 am
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Oil Prices Keep Falling On Fears Over Worldwide Demand Amid Lockdown

With limited gains on the fourth day of the business week, oil prices ticked higher; adding 2 cents taking rate to $44.31 a barrel.

According to the details, Brent crude added 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $44.31 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $41.96 a barrel.

Crude inventories up by 4.9 million barrels in the week to July 17 to 536.6 million barrels, compared with expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.1 million-barrel drop.

Production rose to 11.1 million barrels per day, up by 100,000 barrels per day.

Economic experts said that “Normally inventories of fuel would be heavily drawn upon, but the surge in COVID-19 case numbers has stymied the recovery,”

After United States ordered to close Chinese consulate in Houston and gave 72 hours ultimatum to staff to leave, put more pressure on oil prices, amid accusations of spying, marking a dramatic deterioration in relations between the world’s two biggest economies.

In addition to this, the Economic data from Japan, also weighed on prices.

Factory activity contracted for a 15th straight month in July, indicating that lower economic activity due to the pandemic is extending into the third quarter.

The oil market is likely to take direction from consumer confidence data expected from Europe later in the day.

Asian Markets

Again, Asian shares showed a mixed trend in markets on Thursday as well.

Benchmarks rose in Hong Kong, Sydney and Shanghai but fell in Seoul and Taiwan.

The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.5% to 2,217.01 after South Korea reported that its economy contracted 3.3% in April-June after shrinking 1.3% in the first quarter.

In annual terms, the economy contracted at a 2.9% pace.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4% to 6,098.30.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.1% to 25,328.65, while the benchmark Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1% higher to 3,335.99.

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