Brent crude oil futures traded marginally lower on Friday morning. The oil market is set to end the week lower as the economic slowdown in China further deepened with the property sector crisis in that country.

At 9.54 am on Friday, October Brent oil futures were at $84.11, down by 0.01 per cent, and September crude oil futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) were at $80.52, up by 0.16 per cent.

August crude oil futures were trading at ₹6,689 on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) during initial trading, against the previous close of ₹6,685, up by 0.06 per cent, and September futures were trading at ₹6,655 against the previous close of ₹6,654, up by 0.02 per cent.

Crisis deepens

The Chinese economic slowdown has deepened further with Evergrande Group filing Chapter 15 for bankruptcy in a New York court. This move protects the company from creditors in the US. Evergrande is a major property player in China, with around 1,300 projects in more than 280 cities in China.

Last week another property company – Country Garden – had said it could see a loss of up to $7.6 billion for the first six months of the year.

The recent economic indicators show weakness in the Chinese economic recovery. Recent developments in the property sector have further added to market concerns on its economic recovery.

China is a major buyer of crude oil in the world market, and an economic slowdown in that country would impact demand for the commodity.

Mentha oil slips

Another factor that is likely to impact the crude oil market is the minutes of the July meeting of the US Federal Reserve. Policymakers in this meeting have stressed the need for an interest rate hike in that country to contain inflation.

Such rate hikes make the dollar pricier, impacting the demand for commodities such as crude oil.

August menthaoil futures were trading at ₹913 on the MCX in the initial trading hour of Friday morning, against the previous close of ₹915.90, down by 0.32 per cent.

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