Fuel prices dip after remaining stable for two days; crude edges higher on upcoming China-US trade talks

Petrol and diesel prices were slashed by up to 21 paise and 23 paise respectively in major cities across the country on Friday after the rates remained unchanged for two consecutive days.

Following the price cut, petrol was sold in Delhi at Rs 68.44 per litre, Mumbai Rs 74.10, Chennai Rs 71.01 and Kolkata Rs 70.58 a litre on Friday, according to data available on Indian Oil Corporation website. Diesel was retailed at Rs 62.44 per litre in Delhi, Mumbai Rs 65.34, Chennai Rs 65.91 and Kolkata Rs 64.21 per litre.

This was the second cut in fuel prices this year after petrol and diesel rates almost maintained the downward trend for the past nearly two-and-half months.

 Fuel prices dip after remaining stable for two days; crude edges higher on upcoming China-US trade talks

Representational image. Reuters

Petrol and diesel prices have so far declined by Rs 13.97 and Rs 12.92 respectively since 18 October, 2018 after the fall in crude oil rates in the international market and appreciation of rupee.

Petrol price had slipped below Rs 70 in Delhi on 25 November 2018 after touching record high of Rs 84 on 4 October 2018. Rates had gone past Rs 90-mark for the first time in Mumbai in September 2018 and it remained above Rs 90 for nearly two weeks before the decline.

Meanwhile, oil prices edged up on Friday, shaking off previous losses after China said it would hold talks with the US government on 7-8 January to look for solutions to the trade disputes between the world’s two biggest economies.

International Brent crude futures were at $56.12 per barrel, up 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $47.25 per barrel, up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent. Both crude benchmarks were down earlier in the session on concerns that the Sino-American trade war would lead to a global economic slowdown.

Traders said the firmer prices came after China’s commerce ministry said on Friday that it would hold vice ministerial level trade talks with US counterparts in Beijing on 7-8 January, as the two sides look to end a dispute that is inflicting increasing pain on both economies and roiling global financial markets.

The two nations have been locked in a trade war for much of the past year, disrupting the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods and stoking fears of a global economic slowdown.

Data for December from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Thursday showed the broadest US slowdown in growth for more than a decade, as the trade conflict with China, falling equity prices and increasing uncertainty started to take a toll on the world’s biggest economy.

--With inputs from Reuters

Updated Date: Jan 04, 2019 13:24:22 IST