NEW YORK, Aug. 10 (UPI) — Crude oil prices staved off another day of declines Monday after Chinese sentiments were aimed to countering fears about economic stability.
Brent crude oil prices recovered some of last week’s heavy losses in early Monday trading, moving up about a half percent to $48.61. The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, moved down a fraction of a percent to $43.77, moving closer to the low mark for 2015.
Crude oil prices continue their downward trend amid signs a weak market is doing little to erase a surplus of oil. Oil services company Baker Hughes last week reported a net gain in exploration and production in the United States, where the increase from shale has pushed the crude oil market heavily toward the supply side.
Heavy losses on the Chinese stock market in July helped push crude oil prices below the $50 mark by the end of the month. Zhang Jun, an economist with Morgan StanleyHuaxin Securities, told China’s official Xinhua New Agency growth in the nation’s economy should be “anemic,” though some growth is still expected.
Su Jian, an economist at Peking University, said, however, that low crude oil prices means delays in investments, which in turn delays any future consumption.
“This will form a vicious circle,” the economist told Xinhua.
Moody’s Investors Services last week lowered its forecast for Brent from $60 to $55 and for WTI from $55 to $50.
“We expect prices to rise only gradually in 2016, but not enough to keep pace with rapidly expanding production,” Steve Wood, a managing director of corporate finance, said in a statement.