US Crude Down 0.6% in Early Trade as Norway Strike Ends, Chinese Imports Suddenly Drop

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Crude oil is coming under selling pressure this morning after Norway ended a strike that could have halted oil output from one of the world's largest exporters. There was also bearish news out of China today, with crude imports into the oil-hungry nation plunging in June to the lowest this year as refiners cut purchases amid slowing oil demand. It marked a big reversal from May, when Chinese oil imports had reached a record high.

The labour dispute in Norway had reportedly cut oil production by about 13% and had pushed crude prices up over the last few sessions.

Moments before the 930 am ( ET ) start of equity trading, U.S. crude for August delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was down 54 cents, or 0.6%, at $85.45. August Brent crude futures were down $1.28, or 1.2%, at $99.04.

The TSX energy sector appears set for a lower opening as well, with Suncor Energy (SU.TO) down 0.1% in the pre-market.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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