Global oil prices fell more than $1 on Monday, backing off last week’s gains, as questions over China’s economy outweighed OPEC+ output cuts and the seventh straight drop in the number of oil and gas rigs operating in the United States.
Brent crude lost $1.15, or 1.5%, to trade at $75.46 a barrel by 0350 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down $1.09, or 1.5%, to $70.69.
Last week, Brent posted a gain of 2.4% and WTI rose 2.3%.
“China’s economic uncertainties may have caused the selloff after a two-day rebound in oil markets ahead of The People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) decision on its loan prime rates (LPR) this week,” said Tina Teng, an analyst at CMC Markets.
A number of major banks have cut their 2023 gross domestic product growth forecasts for China after May data last week showed the post-COVID recovery in the world’s second-largest economy was faltering.
PBOC is widely expected to cut its benchmark loan prime interest rates on Tuesday, following a similar reduction in medium-term policy loans last week to shore up a shaky economic recovery.