The upward movement of fuel prices continued for the fifth straight day on Monday with petrol and diesel became dearer by up to 20 paise and 28 paise respectively in major cities across the country after oil marketing companies hiked rates.
For the first time this year, petrol price has crossed Rs 71 per litre in Delhi.
After the price revision on Monday, petrol in Delhi was sold at Rs 71.14 per litre, Mumbai Rs 76.77, Chennai Rs 73.85 and Kolkata Rs 73.23 a litre, according to data available on Indian Oil Corporation website.
Similarly, diesel in Delhi was priced at Rs 65.71 a litre, Mumbai Rs 68.81, Chennai Rs 69.41 and Kolkata Rs 67.49 per litre.
Weakening rupee and rising crude rates in the international market increased petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.49 and Rs 3.05 respectively in the country since 1 January, 2019.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices fell on Monday, in line with weaker stock markets after reports that economic growth in China, the world’s second largest crude consumer, eased in 2018.
Brent crude oil futures were last down 35 cents on the day at $62.35 a barrel, while US crude futures were down 23 cents at $53.57 a barrel.
The broader financial markets were weaker after data showed China’s 2018 economic growth slowing to the weakest in 28 years, at 6.6 percent versus 6.8 percent in 2017.
Although the slowdown was in line with expectations and not as sharp as some analysts had expected, the cooling of the world’s No.2 economy casts a shadow over global growth.
“It remains quite likely that the trade spat with the US has played a part in this latest slowdown, but investors should also factor in that it simply isn’t possible for the Chinese economy to grow at the pace that it has over the last 10 years, in the next 10 years, as the law of diminishing returns kicks in, and the economy becomes more mature,” CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson said.
While there is concern that a slowing global economy could impact oil demand growth and, therefore the price outlook, the production cuts implemented by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would likely support crude oil prices, analysts believe.
“You can’t justify oil prices at these levels. We’re looking basically at an average of almost $70 a barrel for Brent in 2019,” ING commodities strategist Warren Patterson said.
— With Reuters inputs
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Updated Date: Jan 21, 2019 17:02:27 IST