Mubasher: Oil prices may be hurt by a slowdown in global economy, coupled with sluggish Chinese growth, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol told Bloomberg TV that downside risks include a slowdown in global economy which would dent global crude demand.
The energy watchdog’s director pointed specifically to the Chinese economy, which is set to grow at the slowest rate in three decades.
“We should remember that China alone was responsible for more than 50% of the global oil demand growth in the last 10 years,” Birol said.
It is worth noting that the world’s second biggest economy grew 6.6% last year, the slowest pace in 28 years, owing to the trade tensions with the US.
On the other hand, the upside impact comes mainly from geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and shortages from Venezuela and Iran, Birol noted.
By 12:38 pm GMT, US Nymex crude futures rose 1.93% to $53.42 per barrel (pb), while global benchmark Brent futures climbed 2.08% to $62.79 pb.