Oil falls on weak data from Chinese companies

28 Oct 2019 01:02 PM

Oil prices fell on Monday after strong gains made last week, as data published in China reinforced signs of a slowing global economy, although progress in trade talks between China and the United States is supporting prices.

Brent crude was down 34 cents, or 0.4%, at $61.79 a barrel, after gaining more than 4 percent last week, its strongest weekly performance since Sept. 20.

WTI crude fell 27 cents, or 0.5%, to $56.39 a barrel after rising more than 5 percent last week, also the biggest weekly gain since Sept. 20.

Profits of Chinese industrial companies fell for a second straight month in September as producer prices continued to fall, highlighting the impact of a slowing economy and a prolonged trade war with the United States on corporate budgets.

US energy companies also cut the number of oil rigs operating this week, leading to a record decline for the 11th month as producers press ahead with plans to cut spending on new drilling.

Russia's energy ministry said on Friday it was continuing close cooperation with Saudi Arabia, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC oil producers to improve market stability and predictability.

The statement came a day after Igor Sechin, chief executive of Russian oil producer Rosneft, said the September attacks on Saudi oil assets had led to doubts about Saudi Arabia's role as a reliable supplier. The attacks temporarily halted about half of the kingdom's oil production.

The OPEC + group, an alliance of OPEC members and other major producers including Russia, has been implementing since January an agreement to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day.

The agreement lasts until March 2020 and producers meet to review policy on December 5 and 6.