Oil prices fell by more than $4 a barrel on early Monday trading, after China reported disappointing economic data.
West Texas Intermediate crude was down 4.6% after dropping 2.4% on Friday. Brent crude futures fell 4.4%, after settling 1.5% lower on Friday.
U.S. WTI futures touched their lowest since early February and European reference Brent futures were close to their lowest since the Russia invasion of Ukraine started late February.
China’s economic growth was well below expectations in July as the real estate slump and Covid lockdowns dragged down the Asian giant’s growth.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics retail sales grew by 2.7% in July from a year ago, well below the 5% growth forecasted.
Ahead of Monday morning’s data release, the People’s Bank of China reduced the main rate from 2.1% to 2% as the central bank also cut the rate of its one-year lending facility from 2.85% to 2.75%.
The move was to “maintain reasonable and sufficient liquidity in the banking system,” the bank said in a statement.
It was the first time since January that those rates had been cut.