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15-Dec2018

Crude oil futures end sharply lower on demand growth concerns

Crude oil futures ended sharply lower on Friday on profit booking on concerns that demand may slump amid slowing economic growth. The latest batch of data from China showed a slower pace of growth in industrial production and retail sales. Also, disappointing economic data from the eurozone and the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's warning that the balance of risks is moving to the downside, and the lowering of GDP and inflation forecasts for the eurozone has raised concerns that energy demand is likely to drop notably in the near to medium term.

Benchmark crude oil futures for January declined $1.38 or 2.6 percent to settle $51.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. February Brent crude fell $1.17 or 1.9 percent to settle at $60.28 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


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