Noah Makram – Live – Oil prices fell more than a dollar on Wednesday as disappointing economic growth in China raised concerns about the future of demand, while the dollar's strength limited investors' risk appetite.
Brent crude was down $1.38, or 1.8%, at $76.91 a barrel by 14:28 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down $1.35, or 1.9%, at $71.05.
Reuters reports that air and sea attacks in the Red Sea have not been enough to boost oil prices, raising shipping costs and slowing supplies, despite growing concerns that ships could temporarily halt traffic or alter their course.
In light of the real estate crisis, consumption slowdown and global unrest, GDP is projected to increase by 5.2% in 2023, data released by China's National Bureau of Statistics shows.
Although the data was in line with expectations and exceeded Beijing's target, it is likely to increase fresh pressure on authorities to unveil more stimulus measures to restart business activity and push the country's consumers to spend again.
The data has raised questions about expectations that China's demand will drive global oil demand growth in 2024. Priyanka Sakdeva, chief market analyst at Philippe Nova, said the data did not conclude the constraints facing demand for crude oil. 2024 and 2025 aren't bleak yet.
Also, the dollar hit its highest level against a basket of currencies on Wednesday as the safe-haven currency gained on the back of weak Chinese data and policymakers around the world denying an imminent cut in interest rates. .
The dollar index rose to 103.58, its highest level since December 13, continuing its gains after rising 0.67% yesterday on Tuesday.
It is worth noting that the strength of the dollar limits the demand of holders of other currencies for oil denominated in the US currency.
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