U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are edging higher on Friday as traders shrug off worries about an economic slowdown in China and Brexit uncertainty, and shift their focus toward bullish signals from both the Chinese and U.S. refining sectors. The latest U.S. government inventory numbers came in well-above expectations, but traders seem to be unfazed by the news.
Despite erasing earlier losses on the daily chart, the markets are still on track to finish the week about 1% lower.
China Releases Third-Quarter GDP Figures
China released third-quarter GDP figures on Friday showing the economy grew 6.0% from a year ago. This was weaker than analyst expectations for a 6.1% gain. Beijing’s protracted trade dispute with the U.S. has weighed on its economy, with growth slowing to 6.2% in the last quarter, its slowest pace in 27 years. This could lead to lower future demand growth.
Upbeat Chinese Refinery Data Underpinning Prices
A slightly friendly intraday trend is developing on Friday in reaction to bullish signals from both the Chinese and U.S. refining sectors.
China’s September refinery throughput, was up 9.4% year on year at 56.49 million tonnes, boosted by new refineries and some independent refiners resuming operations after maintenance.
China Lays Out Terms for Ultimate Trade Deal
China emphasized Thursday that the U.S. must remove tariffs in order for the two countries to reach a final agreement on trade,…