Oil prices nudge up on Chinese economic data

Florida Gas Prices Decline Despite Barry

There were some encouraging economic data points and some disappointments out of China Monday, but oil exchange traded funds barely responded with the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, trading slightly lower early in the session.

U.S. oil firms on Monday started restoring a number of the greater than practically 74% manufacturing shut at U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms forward of Hurricane Barry, the U.S. offshore drilling regulator stated. About 69% of Gulf oil production and almost 61% of natural-gas production have been shut in, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

Refineries in the path of Tropical Storm Barry continued to operate after the storm prompted energy companies to slash offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude oil output by 73%, or 1.4 Mmbpd.

Oil prices slipped over 3 percent as President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both signaled potential progress with U.S. - Iranian relations in the Middle East.

"This market's muted response to Gulf Coast storm activity appears to suggest that (Gulf of Mexico) production curtailments will prove minimal while any lost output could easily be offset", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

Analysts at ANZ bank said China's crude oil imports year-to-date still looked impressive, even as imports fell in June for a second straight month. The shutdown countered the impact of China's economy slowing to a three-decade low in the second quarter amid a prolonged trade dispute with the US.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect China on Monday to report its gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.2% in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 1992, the earliest quarterly data on record.

Futures fell as much as 3.2% in NY on Tuesday, after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iran, which has been hit by American sanctions over its weapons program, had signaled an openness to talks.

In the Middle East, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday that Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal it quit past year. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

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