China trade data weighs on oil

2011-06-10 10:33

Singapore - Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade on Friday as investors reacted to China's latest trade data which came in below expectations, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, lost 28 cents to $101.65 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July delivery rose 16c to $119.73 in the afternoon.

"The China trade data was a bit weaker than expected and regional markets were weighed down by it," said Serene Lim, an analyst from ANZ Bank in Singapore.

Beijing said its trade surplus expanded to $13.05bn in May from the previous month as the value of exports hit a new record high, although the figure was sharply lower than a Dow Jones Newswires' forecast for $18.6bn.

Crude prices had been up in early trade, boosted by the first gains on Wall Street for six sessions.

"Crude oil markets are likely to be boosted by the US equity market, which recovered after six sessions of consecutive losses," Ker Chung Yang, a commodity analyst at Phillip Futures, told AFP.

US stocks closed firmer on Thursday, lifted by an unexpected narrowing of the US trade deficit in April.

Official data on Thursday showed the US trade deficit shrank to $43.7bn from $46.8bn in March on the back of record exports and a drop in imports as the economy struggles with a weak recovery.

Crude prices had also been lifted by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' decision on Wednesday to keep production levels steady at 24.84 million barrels per day, where it has stood since January 2009.