Crude oil prices stayed unchanged on Monday, as concerns that soaring inflation and energy expenses pushed the global economy into recession were offset by China’s sustained loose monetary policy.

Brent crude futures were up 21 cents, or 0.2%, to $91.84 a barrel as of 1110 GMT, after falling 6.4% the previous week. US West Texas Intermediate crude was selling at $85.67 per barrel, up 6 cents, or 0.1%, from its low of 7.6% the previous week.

According to analysts, a 3-4% loss at Friday’s closing prompted some bargain-hunting on Monday, but momentum appeared sluggish due to low trade volumes.


On Monday, China’s central bank rolled over maturing medium-term policy loans while keeping interest rates unchanged for the second month in a row, signaling that the central bank will maintain loose monetary policy.

According to a senior National Energy Administration official, Beijing would also significantly increase domestic energy supply capacity and strengthen risk controls in main commodities including coal, crude oil and gas, and power.

Another state official stated at a news conference in Beijing that China will increase reserve capacity for vital commodities even more. China is set to release trade and economic data this week, with third-quarter GDP growth likely to increase from the previous quarter, but 2022 threatening to be China’s worst-performing year in more than a half-century.

The Chinese government will release third-quarter GDP figures and September activity data on October 18 at 0200 GMT. Meanwhile, a strong US dollar and further US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes limit price growth.

On Friday, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard claimed that inflation had become “pernicious” and difficult to manage and that further “frontloading” in the form of three-quarter-point rate increases were required.

According to Gita Gopinath, a senior official at the International Monetary Fund, US inflation is persistent, while growth in European Union countries is anticipated to decrease to half a percent.

Crude oil supply is expected to remain tight after OPEC and its partners, including Russia, committed on Oct. 5 to cut output by 2 million barrels per day, as a spat between OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia and the United States could foreshadow greater turmoil.

China signaled on Sunday that its zero-Covid policy would be maintained for the time being, as Chinese President Xi Jinping stated at the Communist Party’s critical twice-decade congress. Commodity traders and markets are keeping a close eye on the conference for any signs of Chinese economic policy that may impact raw material demand.

“Apart from general risk to global growth, another source of the price weakness remains China. This is where government’s firm belief in its zero-Covid policy has reduced the growth and consumption, while an ongoing property crisis has also clouded economic outlook,”, Head of Commodity Strategy at Saxo Bank, said in a weekly commodity overview on Friday.

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