Crude oil prices declined on Friday, despite data from the U.S. Commerce Department showing the U.S. economy to have grown at its fastest pace in nearly four years in the second quarter.
Since the data fell slightly short of forecasts, it failed to trigger any big buying in equity markets or in the commodities exchange.
It is widely felt that the impact of US sanctions on Iran with regard to crude oil has already been factored in and hence crude is unable to make any significant progress.
Crude oil futures for September ended down $0.92 or 1.3%, at $68.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
According to a report from Baker Hughes, three oil rigs were added in U.S. by energy companies in the week ended July 27, making the total rigs count to 863 now. This is the first time in three weeks that rigs have been added.
Although supply disruptions in Saudi Arabia and declining crude inventories in the U.S. pushed up crude oil prices earlier in the week, reports that Russia will up crude output by around 250,000 barrels a day and the addition of new oil rigs in the U.S. dragged down prices today.
There are demand growth concerns following the International Monetary Fund projecting Chinese GDP to grow 6.6% this year, slightly lower than last year’s 6.9%.