* China's July refinery output lowest since March 2020, data
* Stronger U.S. dollar and low liquidity pressure prices
* Iran to respond to EU nuclear text on Monday
Aug 15 (Reuters) - Oil prices settled lower on Monday after
disappointing Chinese economic data renewed concerns of a global
recession that would be expected to reduce fuel demand.
Brent crude futures settled down $3.05, or 3.1%, to
$95.10 a barrel after dropping 1.5% on Friday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled down
$2.68, or 2.9%, at $89.41 after dropping 2.4% in the previous
Brent futures were close to their lowest since before Russia
sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, while WTI futures touched
their lowest on Monday since early February.
The central bank in China, the world's largest crude
importer, cut lending rates to revive demand as data showed the
economy slowing unexpectedly in July, with factory and retail
activity squeezed by Beijing's zero-COVID policy and a property
The country's refinery output slipped to 12.53 million
barrels per day (bpd), its lowest since March 2020, government
ING bank cut its forecast for China's 2022 GDP growth to 4%,
down from a previous projection of 4.4%, and said a further
downgrade was possible.
Brent crude open interest this month is down 20%
from August last year.
"Open interest is still falling, with some (market players)
not interested in touching it because of volatility. That is, in
my view, the reason resulting in higher volumes to the
downside," UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said, adding that
the trigger for the drop on Monday was weak Chinese data.
The U.S. dollar index , meanwhile, rose near to
the middle of its range this month.
Oil is generally priced in U.S. dollars, so a stronger
greenback makes the commodity more expensive to holders of other
Talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal were also in
focus on Monday. Oil supply could rise if Iran and the United
States accept an offer from the European Union, which would
remove sanctions on Iranian oil exports, analysts said.
Iran will respond by midnight on Monday to the European
Union's "final" draft text to save a 2015 nuclear deal, its
foreign minister said, calling on the United States to show
flexibility to resolve three remaining issues.
A damaged oil pipeline component that disrupted output at
several offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms was repaired late
Friday, prompting oil producers to reactivate some of the halted
production, a Louisiana official said last week.
"Supply disruptions at several offshore oil platforms within
the Gulf coast region that added to last weeks price strength
appear to have stabilized for now with output resuming," said
Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates LLC in
(Reporting by Laura Sanicola and Rowena Edwards
Additional reporting by Florence Tan in Singapore
Editing by David Goodman, Kirsten Donovan, Barbara Lewis and