8/16: (6:30 am) Crude Price Slammed by Weak China Economic Data; Natural Gas Soars Back to $9/MMbtu

China released data on Monday showing slower economic activity in July, including manufacturing, investment, consumer spending and almost every other metric.  Crude markets reacted immediately, with WTI dropping more than $5/bbl, to the $86/bbl range, the lowest price since January 2022.   WTI did a partial recovery after hitting the low, eventually settling at $89.41/bbl, down $2.68/bbl.  But this morning, WTI is off again by about 90 cents/bbl to the $88/bbl range.

In another bearish development, the Iran nuclear deal offered last week by the EU is being seriously considered by both Iran and the U.S.   If approved, that would increase oil production from Iran, a negative for oil prices.   Iran sent the EU it’s official response yesterday.  The EU said today that it is “assessing” that response.

Monday was another relatively flat day for natural gas. The Henry Hub September contract moved $0.04/MMbtu lower to settle at $8.728/MMbtu.  That is still over $1/MMbtu higher than this time last week.  This morning natgas is up by almost 30 cents/MMbtu, trading above $9/MMbtu.