Brent crude declined for the third time in four days on concern slower growth in China will reduce demand. West Texas Intermediate narrowed its discount to Brent.
Growth in the world’s second-largest oil consumer faces downward pressure, China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said at the Group of 20 meeting in Cairns, Australia, according to a statement on the website of People’s Bank of China yesterday. Brent also fell after Libya said its biggest oil field may resume production tomorrow. Brent’s premium to WTI narrowed from a 10-day high.
“The statement by the Chinese finance minister is weighing on the market,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The market is very sensitive to negative economic news now and economic fears continue to be our main driver.”
Brent for November settlement slid 72 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $97.67 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 9:07 a.m. New York time. The volume of all futures traded was about 41 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
WTI for October delivery, which expires today, was down 20 cents at $92.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The more-active November contract slid 28 cents to $91.37. The U.S. benchmark crude was at a discount of $6.29 to Brent for the same month, compared with $6.74 on Sept. 19.
Gasoline futures dropped 1.2 percent to $2.5793 on the Nymex after climbing 2 percent on Sept. 19.
Lou reiterated comments made by Premier Li Keqiang that there won’t be major policy adjustments in response to changes in individual economic indicators.
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