Oil falls as China omits 2020 growth target amid pandemic
Oil prices fell on Friday after China failed to set an economic growth target for 2020, sparking concerns that the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will cap fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil user, Reuters reports.
Brent crude was trading down $1.38, or 3.8%, at $34.68 a barrel by 0420 GMT, after falling as low as $33.54.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped by $1.79, or 5.3%, to $32.13 a barrel, having slumped to $30.72 earlier.
Oil prices have risen sharply in recent weeks and are still on track for a fourth weekly gain after the depths plumbed in April when U.S. crude fell below zero.
However, markets were disappointed at China’s decision not to set an economic growth target this year, as the National People’s Congress (NPC) kicked off a week-long meeting.
Rising tensions between the U.S. and China over Beijing’s plan to implement national security legislation in Hong Kong also hit commodities and other markets.
U.S. President Donald Trump warned of a strong reaction over the attempt to assert more control over the former British colony.