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Chinese factor again weighs on oil prices

The decline in oil prices moderated on Tuesday, August 3, although that did little to change the overall downtrend: by the close, Brent price slid 1.05% to $72.13/bbl, and WTI, having broken through the $71 mark, showed a deeper decline, down 1.37% to $70.09/bbl.

A slowdown in economic activity in China, coupled with the spread of the Covid Delta strain in Southeast Asia, continues to exert heavy pressure on the oil market, raising demand-side concerns. Notably, the Caixin China Manufacturing PMI fell to 50.3 in June. This was the lowest reading since April 2020.

Oil prices extended losses this morning, albeit at a slower pace. By the time of writing, Brent was off 0.14%, moving into a lower target band of $ 70-72.5/bbl, while WTI price was down 0.13%. Our Brent price forecast for today is in the range of $71.8-72.5/bbl.

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