WTI, Brent oil futures diverge in choppy session
Investing.com - Crude oil futures were mixed in choppy trade on Tuesday, as a refinery closure weighed on West Texas Intermediate prices while Brent edged higher, tracking strong gains in global equity markets.
Crude oil for delivery in October on the New York Mercantile Exchange sank $1.24, or 2.7%, to trade at $44.77 a barrel during European morning hours.
U.S. crude prices were weighed down by the closure of the largest crude distillation unit at Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)'s 502,500 barrel-per-day Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery.
Losses were limited amid indications U.S. oil drillers are cutting back on production following a dramatic collapse in prices over the summer.
Industry research group Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. decreased by 13 last week to 662, the first weekly decline in seven weeks.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for October delivery tacked on 60 cents, or 1.27%, to trade at $48.23 a barrel.
Market sentiment was boosted amid a global stock market rally, despite grim trade data from China that caused further volatility in Asian markets.
Data released earlier showed that China's trade surplus widened to $60.2 billion last month from $43.0 billion in July, compared to estimates for a surplus of $48.2 billion.
Chinese exports slumped 5.5% from a year earlier, better than forecasts for a decline of 6.0%, while imports plunged 13.8%, far worse than expectations for a drop of 8.2%.
The weak data raised expectations of more policy easing in the coming months.
The Shanghai Composite rallied more than 4.5% in the last hour of trade to erase the session's losses and end up 3%.
The upbeat sentiment carried over to European markets, where Germany's DAX, France's CAC 40 and London's FTSE 100 were all up more than 1.5%.
In the U.S., Wall Street pointed to strong gains at the open, with the Dow futures up 250 points.
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