Oil volatile, ends up 2 percent but demand concerns still weigh

NEW YORK (Reuters) byStephanie Kelly – Oil prices rose about 2 percent in choppy trading on Wednesday, supported by a slight recovery on Wall Street, even as concerns remained about weakening global economic growth which could hurt demand for oil. Brent crude LCOc1 futures gained $1.11, or 2.1 percent, to settle at $54.91 a barrel, after trading between $52.51 and $56.56. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 ended $1.13, or 2.5 percent, higher at $46.54 a barrel, after hitting a session low at $44.35 and high at $47.78. Oil futures were buoyed by U.S. equity markets as major stock indices pared earlier losses. [.N] Crude futures have recently tracked stocks on Wall Street, which in 2018 recorded its worst year in a decade. However, manufacturing data from China earlier added to ongoing concerns about a slowing global economy and increased output out of countries like Russia. China’s factory activity contracted for the first time in more than two years in December, highlighting the challenges facing Beijing as it seeks to end a bruising trade war with Washington. “We still view some slippage in the Chinese economy as a significant bearish consideration given the fact that they had become the… continue reading

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