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Oil Settles Lower As Concerns Over Energy Demand Outlook Weigh

Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday as disappointing GDP data from China added to concerns about outlook for energy demand.

Although OPEC and allies are set to extend output cuts into 2020, rising crude inventories in the U.S. continue to weigh on crude oil prices.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for November ended down $0.15, or about 0.3%, at $53.78 a barrel.

On Thursday, WTI crude oil futures for November ended up $0.57, or about 1.1%, at $53.93 a barrel, after gaining about 1% a session earlier.

Oil futures shed 1.7% in the week.

Data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday showed crude stockpiles in the U.S. jumped 9.3 million barrels last week, more than three times the expected increase.

Gasoline inventories dropped by 2.56 million barrels last week, more than twice the expected decline, while distillate inventories were down 3.8 million barrels, again substantially more than what was forecast.

The American Petroleum Institute’s weekly report showed late Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories soared by 10.5 million barrels in the week to Oct. 11.

According to Baker Hughes, oil rigs count in the U.S. increased for a second successive week, with oil companies adding a rig in the week to October 18. With this, the total count now has risen to 713.

In its latest monthly report, OPEC lowered its 2019 global oil demand growth forecast to 0.98 million barrels per day.. It has retained its 2020 demand growth estimate unchanged at 1.08 million barrels per day.

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s economy grew at the slowest rate in nearly three decades in the third quarter, raising pressure on policymakers to roll out more measures.

China’s GDP grew 6% year-on-year in the third quarter after rising 6.2% in the second quarter, the data showed. Growth was forecast to slow marginally to 6.1%.

Recent U.S. data showing a drop in industrial production, housing starts and Philadelphia area manufacturing activity have also contributed to rising concerns about global growth and outlook for the energy demand.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com