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Oil slides more than 1% as Chinese GDP dents demand hopes


By Alex Lawler

LONDON (Reuters) -Oil dropped by more than 1% on Monday after weaker than expected Chinese economic growth fuelled concern over demand in the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, while a partial restart of halted Libyan output also pressured prices.

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.3% year-on-year in the second quarter, compared with analyst forecasts of 7.3%, with its post-pandemic recovery faltering rapidly owing to weakening demand at home and abroad.

“The GDP came in below expectations, so will do little to ease concerns over the Chinese economy,” said Warren Patterson, ING’s head of commodities research.

Brent crude fell 97 cents or 1.2%, to $78.90 a barrel by 1330 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped by 83 cents, or 1.1%, to $74.59 on a second straight day of losses for both contracts.

“China data was always looked forward to with a degree of hope; well, for bulls anyway,” John Evans, of oil broker PVM, said in a report. “However, the contemporary economic backdrop for Asia’s driver seems to now be wheeled out for the bears.”

Oil briefly rose after a Reuters news alert on Saudi Arabia extending a voluntary output cut. The alert was subsequently withdrawn because it repeated news published on June 4.

Both benchmarks had notched three weeks of gains and touched their highest since April last week, finding support from OPEC+ output curbs and unplanned outages in Libya and Nigeria.

Oil also came under pressure on Monday from the resumption of output at two of three Libyan fields shut last week. Output had been halted by a protest against the abduction of a former finance minister.

In another sign of tighter supplies, Russian oil exports from western ports are set to fall by 100,000-200,000 bpd next month, a sign that Moscow is making good on a pledge for supply cuts in tandem with Saudi Arabia, two sources said on Friday.

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