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Oil prices fluctuate amid fears of global demand

Oil prices fluctuate amid fears of global demand

Oil prices fluctuated during Friday's trading session in the wake of rising concerns about global demand after economic data showed the Chinese economy recorded its lowest growth in nearly 30 years.  

Brent crude futures soared to $59.70 a barrel, to complete three consecutive days of gains, while crude oil traded slightly lower at $54.03 a barrel. 

On the weekly basis, oil prices are set for a loss after recording a strong gain the previous week.

Data released by China's National Statistics Authority on Friday showed GDP increased came in at 6 percent year-on-year from July to September, the lowest level since the first quarter of 1992, compared with 6.2 percent in the second quarter. Analysts' expectations were in favor of 6.1 percent in the third quarter.  

The report reflected the negative impact of the trade war with the United States and therefore raised concerns about global growth and oil demand.  

However, official Chinese data released on Friday showed strong refinery productivity in September, rising by 9.4% compared to the previous year to 56.49 million tons, due to increases in new refineries and some independent refineries that resume operations after maintenance. 

U.S. Energy Information Administration data yesterday showed that crude inventories rose 9.3 million barrels in the week ended October 11 to 434.9 million barrels. 

At its latest monthly report, OPEC and its allies agreed to oil production limitation by 1.2 million barrels per day until March of the next year.

They also lowered its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019 to 0.98 million barrels, while estimates of demand growth in 2020 were left unchanged at 1.08 million barrels per day. 

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the U.S. currency against a basket of six currencies, slumped 0.02 percent at 97.31.

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