Prices for natural gas, meanwhile, jumped by more than 10% as colder weather boosts demand for the heating fuel, but at least one analysts believes the move is only temporary.
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery CLG9, -0.70% edged down by 29 cents, or 0.6%, to trade at $51.30 a barrel on Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It had fallen Friday but nonetheless notched a weekly rise of about 7.6%, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
March Brent crude LCOH9, -0.99% fell 36 cents, or 0.6%, to $60.12 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, after prices last week logged a weekly gain of 6%.
Weak economic data from China raised “concerns of slowing global growth, especially after weak industrial output data from Europe,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group, in a daily note. “It also raises the question of whether or not the Chinese stimulus, that has been announced, will be enough to ward off a major slowdown in the Chinese economy.”
“At the same time, it puts more pressure on China to get a trade deal with the U.S.,” he said. “That might be a bit harder after China reported that China’s trade surplus” climbed in 2018.
“Bottom line, China needs a deal if they are interested in stopping the free fall in their economy,” said Flynn. “While some argue they are playing the long game when it comes to this trade war, they really are going to have a hard time recovering if they let this linger much longer.”