25 September 2015 –Oil markets remained subdued in early trading in Asia on Friday after weak data from Japan reinforced concerns over global economic growth.
Japan’s core consumer prices fell 0.1% in August from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday, marking the first year-on-year drop since April 2013. The index includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices.
HSBC cautioned not to over-focus on weak China data, arguing that fully developed economies were also slowing.
“It turns out that developed market imports haven’t been anywhere near as robust as relatively upbeat local demand data would suggest… For all their recent swagger, developed markets are hardly firing on all cylinders. So, don’t just blame China,” the bank said on Friday.
Globally traded Brent futures were at $48.13 per barrel early on Friday, down four cents from their last close. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were slightly firmer, at $44.95 a barrel, up 4 cents from their last settlement.
Oil prices rose by over a quarter in late August after a slowing rig count and a reduction in US crude stocks implied a tightening North American market.