Crude oil futures fluctuate after China GDP data

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Investing.com - Crude oil futures swung between small gains and losses on Monday, after a report showed that the Chinese economy expanded in line with expectations in the second quarter.


On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in September traded at USD105.36 a barrel during European morning trade, down 0.2% on the day.

New York-traded oil prices traded in a range between USD105.13 a barrel, the daily low and a session high of USD105.92 a barrel.

On Thursday, New York-traded oil prices rose to USD107.44 a barrel, the strongest level since March 27, 2012.

Official data showed that Chinese gross domestic product expanded 7.5% in the second quarter from a year earlier, following growth of 7.7% in the three months to March and in line with expectations.

Separate reports showed that Chinese retail sales rose to13.3% on a year-over-year basis in June, up from 12.9% in May, while industrial production declined to 8.9% in June from 9.2% the previous month.

China is the world's second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand.

Investors now looked ahead to the release of U.S. retail sales data later in the day to further gauge the strength of the U.S. economy and the direction of U.S. monetary policy.

Oil prices rallied 2.3% last week after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank will continue to maintain accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future.

Bernanke is due to testify to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Fed's stimulus program is viewed by many investors as a key driver in boosting the price of commodities as it tends to depress the value of the dollar.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for September delivery was little changed to trade at USD107.89 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD2.53 a barrel.

The gap between the contracts narrowed to the smallest level since November 2010 last week, amid an improving production outlook in the North Sea and indications of declining stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for Nymex oil futures.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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