Oil prices fall on profit booking, growth concerns

NEW DELHI : Crude oil prices fell on Monday as traders booked profits after prices rose in the previous session.

Tighter monetary policies in major economies also raised fears of a slowdown in growth, further weighing on oil prices, analysts said.

As of 12:35 p.m., the July Brent contract on the Intercontinental Exchange was trading at $110.03 a barrel, down 1.36% from its previous close. The West Texas Intermediate June contract on NYMEX fell 1.10% to $109.27 a barrel.

Ravindra Rao, head of commodities research at Kotak Securities, said demand issues along with EU efforts to import gas from Russia without violating sanctions have driven prices down.

“China’s industrial production and retail sales data released today showed signs of mounting pressure on the economy under Covid’s zero-tolerance policy. Concerns over supply have escalated. mitigated somewhat as the EU looked for ways to buy Russian gas without breaching sanctions,” he said.

On Monday, China reported lower retail sales and industrial production in April. Retail sales fell 11.1% in April from a year ago and industrial production fell 2.9% in April on an annual basis.

The economic slowdown in China is a major concern for the oil market, as the country is one of the biggest importers of the raw material.

Despite the volatility in the oil market, retail gasoline and diesel prices in India remained unchanged. In Delhi, gasoline is sold 105.41 per litre, while diesel is priced at 96.67 per liter.

Retail prices for transportation fuels have been unchanged for about 40 days after increasing by 10 per liter from March 22 to April 6 due to soaring oil prices in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The Indian basket of crude comprising Oman, Dubai and Brent was last recorded at $104.29 a barrel on May 12.

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