Saturday 18 January 2020 10:30 am

Oil prices steady as China-US trade deal optimism offset by slow Chinese economic growth

Oil prices steadied on Friday as sluggish economic growth in China offset optimism of a trade deal between the US and China.

Brent crude oil rose 23 cents to finish Friday’s session on $64.85 a barrel, which was 0.2 per cent down for the week.

It comes after China revealed on Friday that its economy, the second largest in the world, had grown by just 6.1 per cent during 2019: its slowest expansion in 29 years.

However, prices were boosted by an increase in demand, with data showing that China refineries processed 652m tonnes of crude oil in 2019, up 7.6 per cent from 2018.

Prices also rose on Thursday after China and the US signed their Phase 1 trade deal, which committed China to an additional $54bn in energy purchases.

The market was also lifted by the US Senate’s approval of changes to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement.