Fresh US Data Pushes Oil Prices to One-month Low

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United States stocks' losses accelerated in afternoon trading on Monday, pushing the S&P 500 down more than 5 percent from its Jan. 26 record high and the Dow below 25,000 for the first time since January 4.

While China has continued to boost its oil imports in recent years, it has also lessened its dependence on OPEC's crude oil.

Brent for April settlement rose 46 cents to $67.32 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, snapping a three-day decline.

US West Texas Intermediate crude fell below $62 a barrel on Wednesday (February 7), putting it on pace for its worst weekly performance since May 2017. While equity markets are clawing back on calls to 'buy the dip, ' crude's advance is being driven by industry data that showed an unexpected decrease in U.S. stockpiles.

The production of oil in the U.S.in November exceeded 10 million barrels per day for the first time in nearly 50 years.

"Goldman Sachs was the latest to give up its skepticism and predict that Brent would reach $80 a barrel within six months".

"For oil, API's numbers are supportive".

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Oil prices dropped as the USA benchmark dropped to the lowest settlement in two weeks. The country also recently closed two oil swap deals with Russian Federation and Iraq, and, as analyst Ellen Wald noted in a recent article for Investing.com, these would amount to a combined 160,000 bpd, which doesn't leave a lot of free production capacity to match Zanganeh's statement.

USA stocks eventually rebounded in volatile afternoon trading on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.6%, or 1,175 points, to 24,346. Cnooc added as much as 2.6% in Hong Kong, rebounding from a drop of more than 5%. The measure had its biggest one-day gain since December at the start of this week. "Financial markets pulled out of the nose dive, although ongoing volatility shows that we are not out of the woods yet". Volumes were heavy, with more than 957,000 front-month futures trading, far more than the average of 634,000 contracts over the last 200 days.

Daily trading volumes of United States oil futures contracts have more doubled in the past decade, averaging more than 1.2 billion barrels per day in 2017, according to exchange operator CME Group.

The continuous rise in Chinese oil imports is due to several factors, the EIA says.

Chen Bo, president of Unipec - China's largest buyer of US crude - told Reuters that the firm expects to double USA imports this year to 300,000 bpd as it seeks to expand sales in Asia and find new customers for US exports in other regions, including Europe.

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