Oil prices are holding steady as markets ignore deflationary indicators in China and seek more clues about the state of demand from the world’s two largest oil consumers.
Brent crude futures rose 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $79.62 a barrel by 05:00 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures rose 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $75.39 a barrel.
The slight rise comes after both benchmarks fell more than 2% on Wednesday, falling to their lowest level since mid-July, as concerns eased about potential supply disruptions in the Middle East and concerns about demand from the United States and China rose.
Earnings are low, reflecting still-existing reservations, with macroeconomic factors and technical conditions giving sellers the upper hand for now.
Today’s gains likely reflect prices trying to stabilize following the strong selling in previous days.
Meanwhile, Chinese inflation data announced on Thursday showed that CPI decreased by 0.2% annually in October, while PPI data decreased by 2.6% annually. This was broadly in line with surveys predicting the CPI would fall 0.1% and the PPI would fall 2.7%.
Customs data earlier this week showed China’s total exports of goods and services contracted faster than expected; however, the country’s crude imports in October were strong.
In a positive note about oil demand, China’s central bank governor Pan Gongsheng expects the country to achieve its annual growth target of 5% for this year.
Inventory data for the US may indicate a weakening in demand. US crude oil stocks increased by 11.9 million barrels in the week to November 3, sources said, citing figures from the American Petroleum Institute.
If approved, this would represent the biggest weekly increase since February. However, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) delayed the release of weekly oil inventory data until November 15 to accommodate the system upgrade.
On the supply side, higher production from Venezuela following the resilience of US oil supplies and the easing of sanctions against Latin American oil-producing country Venezuela could put downward pressure on prices.