Oil prices were down in Asia Monday with traders taking profits from a rally last week as they awaited the release of Chinese trade data later in the week, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in September, fell 12 cents to $91.28 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for September delivery shed 34 cents to $108.60.
Crude prices were weaker “after rallying on a stronger-than-expected US jobs report, while the market awaited Chinese trade data due later this week for trading cues,” Phillip Futures said in a report.
A crude rally on Friday saw prices on the WTI jumping more than four dollars to pass $91 a barrel, while Brent rose more than three dollars to within striking distance of $109.
The ebullient show was largely due to official data released Friday showing the economy of the US — the world’s largest oil consumer — creating 163,000 jobs in July, beating forecasts for a gain of 100,000, analysts said.
On traders’ watch list for this week is the release of a slew of economic data from China which will provide an update on the economic health of the world’s largest energy consumer and its corresponding energy demand.
China’s June trade data released last month showed demand for imports falling more sharply than expected, leading to a widening of the trade surplus and stoking concerns about an economic slowdown.
China is set to release its July trade figures this Friday.