Crude dips on Chinese trade data, U.S. stockpile concerns

A A A - - Crude prices edged lower on Tuesday, as soft Chinese trade data continued to spook investors with fears emerging-market economies are cooling while concerns that U.S. weekly inventory data may disappoint also watered down prices.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April traded at $100.18 a barrel during U.S. trading, down 0.93%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $100.12 a barrel and a high of $101.52 a barrel.

The April contract settled down 1.42% at $101.12 a barrel on Monday.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $99.41 a barrel, the low from Feb. 13, and resistance at $102.89 a barrel, Friday's high.

Weak Chinese trade continued to bruise oil prices on Tuesday.

Data released over the weekend showed that Chinese exports fell 18.1% on-year in February, defying expectations for a 6.8% increase, following a rise of 10.6% in January.

A separate report showed that the annual rate of inflation in China slowed to 2.0% in February, from 2.5% in January.

The numbers confirmed market concerns that emerging markets are cooling.

China is the world's second-largest consumer of crude oil.

The numbers also sparked concerns that U.S. demand for Chinese-made goods may have taken a hit due to a string of harsh winter storms, which may reflect in Wednesday's supply data as well as Thursday's data on U.S. retail sales.

The American Petroleum Institute will release its inventories report later in the day, while Wednesday's government report could show crude stockpiles rose by 2.2 million barrels in the week ended March 7.

The data was also expected to show that distillate stockpiles, including heating oil and diesel, decreased by 1.1 million barrels, while gasoline stockpiles were forecast to drop 2.2 million barrels.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for April delivery were up 0.01% and trading at US$107.53 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$7.35 a barrel. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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