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Oil slips on concerns about China slowdown

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices edged lower on Monday, pressured by data showing weakening imports and exports in that raised new worries about a global economic slowdown hurting crude demand.

Brent crude futures dipped 22 cents to $60.26 a barrel by 10:55 a.m. EST (1555 GMT), trading as low as $59.27 intraday. U.S. Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 8 cents to $51.51 a barrel, after sinking to a session low earlier of $50.43.

Data out of spurred fresh concerns about weakness in the global China's exports fell by the most in two years in December while imports contracted, official figures showed.

"Oil prices are getting weighted down by the prospects of weaker economic growth in China," of said in a report.

"This data drives home just how negative of an impact trade war is having on the Chinese and perhaps global "

Despite concern about the outlook, there is little sign that Chinese has weakened yet. China's crude imports in December surged nearly 30 percent from a year earlier, calculations of customs data showed.

Saudi Arabia's Energy said on Monday that he is not worried about a global slowdown hurting as of yet.

"The global is strong enough, I'm not too concerned. If a slowdown happens, it will be mild, shallow and short," he told reporters in

Crude futures have rallied recently after sinking to one-and-a-half year lows reached in late December.

"There's a close proximity to $50 (for WTI)," said Bob Yawger, at in New York. "There's a significant amount of new length in the market in and interest in keeping the market above that number."

With the recent rally, OPEC officials appear more confident that prices will be supported by output declines in January as producers implement the deal agreed to by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC allies, including Russia, in December to cut by 1.2 million barrels per day.

Al-Falih said on Sunday the was "on the right track" and there was no need for an extraordinary OPEC meeting before its next planned gathering in April.

(Additional reporting by in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by and Louise Heavens)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 21:44 IST