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Oil Prices Decline Amid Concerns over China’s Economy


Oil prices took a step back on Wednesday following the release of an economic report that unveiled weaknesses in China’s economy. China, being the world’s second-largest economy, plays a significant role in global energy demand.

The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, saw a decrease of 1.9% and settled at $71.01 per barrel. Likewise, the international standard, Brent crude, slipped by 1.7% to $76.98 per barrel. These declines have occurred over the past three months and have held relatively steady since the beginning of the year, with both contracts witnessing a decrease of more than 15%.

The report on China’s economy indicated that it had expanded by 5.2% in 2023, just slightly exceeding the government’s lowest target in years. However, closer examination of the report revealed the delicate state of the property market and the fact that the country’s population has fallen for a second consecutive year. Combined with concerns about rising interest rates in the U.S. and elsewhere, China’s slower growth raises the possibility of lower-than-expected energy consumption over the coming months.

In other news, BP, one of the major oil companies headquartered in London, has announced that Murray Auchincloss will serve as the permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Auchincloss previously held the position on an interim basis following the sudden resignation of Bernard Looney in September.

As a result of this announcement, BP’s American depositary receipts experienced a slight decline of 0.9% in premarket trading. Rival company Shell also saw a decrease of 2.4%, while Exxon Mobil retreated by 0.7% and Chevron lost 0.5% in value.

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