Oil prices down with lack of growth outlook in China

Oil prices down with lack of growth outlook in China

ANKARA, May 22 — Crude oil prices were down on Friday as China disappoint investors by not setting a GDP growth target for 2020 amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at US$34.48 per barrel at 0605 GMT for a 4.4 per cent decline after closing Thursday at $36.06 a barrel, Turkish Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

It said American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at US$31.96 a barrel at the same time for a 5.8 per cent fall after ending the previous day at US$33.92 per barrel.

The annual meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) kicked off in Beijing on Friday after two months of delay due to COVID-19.

However, the world’s second-biggest economy failed to set out an economic growth target for this year, after it contracted by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period last year.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang confirmed at the NPC that his country would not be setting out an economic growth target for this year, due to “the global pandemic and big uncertainties in the economy and trade,” according to South China Morning Post.

The uncertainties worry investors that oil consumption and crude demand of the world’s second-largest oil consumer could remain low as a result of weak economic activity in the country this year.

— BERNAMA

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