Investing.com – Oil prices edged up on Wednesday in Asia on hopes that increased Chinese fiscal stimulus could stem a spreading economic slowdown that has been weighing on energy prices.
International were at $61.70 per barrel at 12:46 AM ET (05:46 GMT), up 0.3%.
U.S. were at $53.14 per barrel, also up 0.3%.
The gain in oil prices today followed a 2% fall on Tuesday as oil traders and investors digested news of China’s lowest annual economic growth in nearly 30 years.
On Monday, official data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s grew 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018 from a year earlier. The growth was slower than the previous quarter’s 6.5%.
The International Monetary Fund, meanwhile, revised downward its 2019 global growth forecast to 3.5% from October’s 3.7% on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Japan on Wednesday reported that its December 2018 fell by 3.8%, the most in more than two years.
A widespread economic slowdown was cited as a headwind for energy prices recently as it dents growth in demand for fuel.
The upcoming China-U.S. trade talks could be crucial to prevent a sharp economic slowdown, analysts said.
A Chinese delegation that includes Vice Premier Liu He will visit the U.S. on January 30 and 31 for talks to end the ongoing trade war between the two sides.
Steen Jakobsen, chief economist at Denmark’s Saxo Bank, said in a first-quarter 2019 outlook that was cited by Reuters that “the global economy is suffering”, but added that China’s government would do all it could for stability.
His comments came as China’s Finance Ministry officials said today that Beijing would this year to support its economy.
However, Jakobsen noted that traders should not expect any stimulus programs to keep the economy going forever. He warned that there could be another downturn in 2020.
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