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Oil falls on disappointing economic reports

Oil falls on disappointing economic reports

Oil prices retreated Thursday after the Federal Reserve said U.S. industrial production inched up 0.1 percent last month, while regional index from New York and Philadelphia showed declines.
Benchmark crude for August delivery lost $1.28 at $75.76 a barrel in early afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil has traded between $70 and $80 this month as investors ponder how much a pullback of government stimulus spending could undermine global economic growth and crude demand in the second half.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve gave a bearish signal by lowering its 2010 gross domestic product forecast by 0.2 percentage points to a range of 3.0 percent to 3.5 percent, suggesting Europe's debt and fiscal crisis could undermine expansion of the world's No. 1 economy.
On the other hand, crude prices were supported by the weekly inventories report from the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, which showed crude supplies shrank more than analysts had forecast, a sign demand may be improving.
"We expect the supply-demand balance to continue to tighten in the second half as continued global economic growth albeit likely at a slower pace continues to strengthen demand," Goldman Sachs said in a report.
Some analysts expect strong oil demand from developing economies will offset sluggish consumption in rich countries and help push prices higher. China said Thursday its economy grew 10.3 percent in the second quarter while Singapore reported a record 19.3 percent surge Wednesday.
Analysts at Switzerland-based Petromatrix said crude oil inputs to Chinese refineries hit a record high in June.
In other Nymex trading, natural gas prices jumped as Americans cranked up air conditioners with hot weather gripping much of the country. Natural gas rose 28.4 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $4.591 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Heating oil fell 3.36 cents to $2.0025 a gallon, and gasoline lost 3.18 cents at $2.0347 a gallon.
Brent crude fell 57 cents to $76.20 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.
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Associated Press writers Natalie Ragus in London and Alex Kennedy in Singapore contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-07-24 06:30 GMT+08:00