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Oil holds above US$46 amid robust economic growth in China

Monday, July 17, 2017 - 17:47

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Oil steadied above US$46 a barrel in New York after China's economic growth in the second quarter slightly surpassed expectations, while Opec's commitment to supply curbs faltered.

[LONDON] Oil steadied above US$46 a barrel in New York after China's economic growth in the second quarter slightly surpassed expectations, while Opec's commitment to supply curbs faltered.

Futures were little changed in New York, after rising 5.2 per cent last week. The world's second-largest economy expanded by 6.9 per cent from a year earlier, compared with the 6.8 per cent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Opec's implementation of output cuts dropped to 92 per cent in June from 110 percent in May, according to a person familiar with the matter.

While oil advanced last week, prices in New York are still below US$50 a barrel on concerns expanded global supplies will offset output curbs by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies.

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The group's output climbed last month to the highest this year as members exempt from the deal - Nigeria and Libya - pumped more and others slipped in delivering their pledged curbs.

"Macro data in China point to renewed growth momentum in June, following a somewhat sluggish April and May," said Jan Edelmann, an analyst at HSH Nordbank AG in Frankfurt.

West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was at US$46.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 12 US cents, at 10.10am in London. Total volume traded was about 19 per cent above the 100-day average. Prices gained US$2.31 to US$46.54 a barrel last week.

Brent for September settlement slipped 7 US cents to US$48.84 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices climbed 4.7 per cent last week. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of US$2.18 to September WTI.

Opec's "secondary sources" data, revised to include all figures from all parties, showed the 11 members bound by the Nov 30 output agreement pumped 29.89 million barrels a day in June compared with 29.69 million in May, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The number of active oil rigs in the US rose to 765, according to Baker Hughes data reported Friday. It's the second week of renewed growth after drillers snapped a 23-week stretch of advances at the end of June.

Shale explorers have been the driving force behind a surge in US production, more than doubling the rig count from a low of 316 in May 2016.

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