Oil prices were flat to slightly higher on Monday after new economic data out of China indicated the country’s economy is continuing to recover from the impact of the coronavirus.

Brent crude for May settlement inched up 0.1 percent to $69.30 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for April delivery were up 0.2 percent at $65.75 a barrel.

China’s industrial output and retail sales surged in the first two months of the year, boosting the energy demand outlook at the world’s largest oil importer.

Industrial production in China jumped 35.1 percent year-on-year in the period including January and February – beating forecasts for an increase of 30 percent.

Retail sales spiked an annual 33.8 percent to exceed expectations while weaker-than-expected investment growth and rise in unemployment disappointed markets.

Further supporting prices, Reuters reported citing sources that top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has cut the supply of April-loading crude to at least four north Asian buyers by up to 15 percent.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

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