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New York, US (BBN) – Crude oil prices fell in Asia as tensions on the Korean peninsula weighed and despite better than expected GDP growth in China, the world’s second largest oil importer, on an annual basis.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery fell 0.86 per cent to $52.72 a barrel, reports
On London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent eased 0.79 per cent to $55.45 a barrel.
Major markets were shut on Good Friday, while markets in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand are shut for Easter Monday.
China on Monday reported first quarter GDP rose 1.3 per cent on the quarter compared to the same period a year ago for an annual pace of 6.9 per cent, beating expectations for the year comparison.
A poll of analysts says quarter-on-quarter up 1.6 per cent and year-on-year GDP up 6.8 per cent.
China also reported industrial production rose 7.6 per cent in March, compared to a 6.3 per cent gain seen and retail sales gained 10.9 per cent against a 9.6 per cent rise seen.
The IEA said the global oil market is close to balance, after three years of excess supply, as oil stockpiles across The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries fell by 17.2 million barrels in March.
The drop in production, resulted in a marginal increase of 38.5 million barrels for the first quarter of the year.
“The net result is that global stocks might have marginally increased in the first quarter, versus an implied draw of about 0.2 million barrels per day,” the IEA said.
The bullish comments from the IEA came a day after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) new monthly report on Wednesday, revealed its members cut oil output in March more than anticipated.
Meanwhile, oilfield services firm Barker Hughes reported its weekly US rig count rose by 11 to 683, it was the thirteenth straight weekly increase.
Crude prices have notched three straight weeks of gains to recover from the slump in March, when prices fell to a four-month low of $47.01, on the back of concerns that a ramp up in US oil production would dampen OPEC’s efforts to drain the glut in supply.
In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of this year.
Recently, OPEC members including Saudi Arabia have expressed a desire to extend the global deal to cut oil supply for an additional six months beyond June.