13 October 2011 15:23 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Crude prices extended earlier losses to fall by more than $2/bbl on Thursday, taking Brent crude on ICE Futures close to $109/bbl after the US published disappointing jobless claims data.
Prices had fallen earlier on concerns over Chinese oil demand following the release of downbeat import data from the world’s second largest oil consumer, while a firm US dollar added further downward pressure.
However, traders are now awaiting the release of weekly US inventory data from the US Government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), which is expected to reveal a build in crude stocks.
By 14:00 GMT, November Brent crude had hit a low of $109.07/bbl, a loss of $2.29/bbl from Wednesday’s close of $111.36/bbl, before recovering to around $109.30/bbl.
At the same time, November NYMEX light sweet crude futures were trading around $83.40/bbl, having hit a low of $83.17, a loss of $2.40 from the previous close.
Trade data from China revealed a 12% decline in crude imports in September from record levels a year earlier. September import levels were 4.98m bbl/day, the fourth consecutive month in which imports into China have remained below 5m bbl/day.
Analysts had expected a rise in Chinese imports with the restart of domestic refining capacity following maintenance shutdowns.
The decline raised concerns of a slowdown in demand from China. However, analysts still awaited the release of more detailed official inventory data for September.
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