Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday ahead of a decision on lending benchmarks by China, with the world’s second-largest economy widely expected to cut key rates to shore up a slowing recovery.
Brent crude was 3 cents higher at $76.12 a barrel at 0041 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was unchanged at $71.29 and there was no settlement on Monday due to a public holiday in the United States.
The WTI crude contract due on July 20 was down 58 cents to $71.35 per barrel.
China is widely expected to cut key lending benchmarks on Tuesday in the first such easing in 10 months, a Reuters survey showed, after recent economic data showed the retail and factory sectors struggling to sustain the momentum seen earlier this year.
The Chinese government met last week to discuss measures to spur growth in the economy, and several major banks have cut their 2023 economic growth forecasts amid concerns a post-COVID recovery is faltering.
“Scepticism over Chinese stimulus measures weighed on sentiment,” ANZ Research said in a client note on Tuesday. “Markets also lacked direction with the U.S. closed, driving liquidity lower.”