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Crude Oil Prices Extend Recent Losses

Oil prices trimmed its losses on Friday despite retail sales and industrial production numbers for July continuing to point to weak recovery in China.

Benchmark Brent crude dropped 22 cents or 0.49 percent to $44.83 a barrel after dipping as low as $44.66 earlier in the day. It's still heading for gain of more than 1 percent for the week on optimism about the pace of oil demand recovery.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 25 cents, or 0.60 percent, at $42.07 but headed for a gain of over 2 percent for the week.

Official data showed today that China's industrial production grew 4.8 percent on a yearly basis in July, the same rate of growth as seen in June and weaker than the expected rise of 5.1 percent.

Retail sales dropped 1.1 percent from last year, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.1 percent.

Oil prices fell on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) cut its forecast for global oil demand for 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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