Oil prices slip on mixed Chinese economic data, storm impact
By Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday on mixed Chinese economic data and signs that the impact of a tropical storm on U.S. Gulf Coast production and refining would be short-lived. Chinese industrial output and retail data topped expectations, but overall figures showed the country's slowest quarterly economic growth in decades, dimming the outlook for crude demand.
By Laila Kearney
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday on mixed Chinese economic data and signs that the impact of a tropical storm on U.S. Gulf Coast production and refining would be short-lived.
Chinese industrial output and retail data topped expectations, but overall figures showed the country's slowest quarterly economic growth in decades, dimming the outlook for crude demand.
Brent crude futures dropped 12 cents to $66.60 a barrel by 12:04 p.m. EDT (1604 GMT), while U.S. crude shed 40 cents to $59.81 a barrel.
Crude oil imports from China fell in June for a second straight month, but analysts at ANZ bank said China's imports year-to-date still looked strong.
China's oil throughput rose to a record 13.07 million barrels per day in June, up 7.7% from a year earlier, following the start-up of two new large refineries, official data showed.
Still, economic growth of just 6.2% in the second quarter of 2019 - the weakest in 27 years - highlighted the impact of trade tensions with Washington and raised the possibility that more incentives might be needed to jump-start the economy.
"The basic message is that the second half of this year will see some depletion in global oil inventories but this will be followed by a dismal 2020, especially the first six months of next year," PVM analyst Tamas Varga said.
Refineries in the path of Tropical Storm Barry continued to operate after the storm prompted energy companies to slash offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude output by 73%, or 1.4 million bpd.
"The short-term impact from the storm is going to be felt, but the longer term impact is going to be negligible," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Easing tensions between the West and the Middle East also limited oil futures, Flynn said.
"It seems that some of the concerns that we were close to a military conflict with Iran has eased a little bit, so that has also weighed on prices," he said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday that Iran was ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifted sanctions and returned to the 2015 nuclear deal it quit last year.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said there remained a "small window" of time to save the Iran nuclear deal as Tehran signalled it would ramp up its nuclear programme.
(Additional reporting by Noah Browning in London and Florence Tan; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Jan Harvey)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.