Oil Price Fundamental Daily Forecast – Chinese Refinery Output Strong Enough to Offset Demand Growth Concerns

Crude oil is also being underpinned by the hopes that a Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union could prevent an economic recession in the Euro Zone.
James Hyerczyk
Crude Oil

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are edging higher on Friday as traders shrug off worries about an economic slowdown in China and Brexit uncertainty, and shift their focus toward bullish signals from both the Chinese and U.S. refining sectors. Despite erasing earlier losses on the daily chart, the markets are still on track to finish the week about 1% lower.

At 12:58 GMT, December WTI crude oil is trading $54.62, up $0.59 or +1.09% and December Brent crude oil is at $60.13, up $0.20 or +0.33%.

China Releases Third-Quarter GDP Figures

China released third-quarter GDP figures on Friday showing the economy grew 6.0% from a year ago. This was weaker than analyst expectations for a 6.1% gain. Beijing’s protracted trade dispute with the U.S. has weighed on its economy, with growth slowing to 6.2% in the last quarter, its slowest pace in 27 years. This could lead to lower future demand growth.

China Lays Out Terms for Ultimate Trade Deal

China emphasized Thursday that the U.S. must remove tariffs in order for the two countries to reach a final agreement on trade, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said.

“China’s position, principle and goal for the China-U.S. trade negotiations has never changed,” Gao said in Mandarin at a weekly press conference, according to a CNBC translation.

“Both sides’ ultimate goal for the negotiations is to end the trade war, cancel all additional tariffs,” he said. “This is good for China, good for the U.S. and good for the world.”

Brexit Deal in Place but Needs UK Parliament Approval

Crude oil is also being underpinned by the hopes that a Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union could prevent an economic recession in the Euro Zone.

On Thursday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we have a great new Brexit deal” via Twitter. He then called on British lawmakers to back the deal when it’s put before Parliament on Saturday. Meanwhile, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that the deal was a “fair and balanced” one.

The U.K. Parliament has yet to approve the deal before it can be implemented, and this is a problem for investors.

“At the moment, the parliamentary arithmetic is somewhere between “extremely tight” and ‘no’” said Constantine Fraser, a political analyst at TS Lombard. But the “main takeaway is that the Conservative party is now committed to this deal, not no-deal, and will campaign for a majority for it.”

Daily Forecast

A slightly friendly intraday trend is developing on Friday in reaction to bullish signals from both the Chinese and U.S. refining sectors.

China’s September refinery throughput, was up 9.4% year on year at 56.49 million tonnes, boosted by new refineries and some independent refiners resuming operations after maintenance.

We’re not expecting anything about Brexit since the UK parliament won’t meet until Saturday, but U.S.-China trade negotiations could always offer a surprise.

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