After moving up sharply early on in the session thanks to data showing a jump in China’s crude imports in April, crude oil prices retreated and ended sharply lower on Thursday.
Traders also reacted positively earlier in the day to data showing an unexpected increase in China’s exports in April. The strong data helped offset Wednesday’s weak data from the U.S. and concerns about U.S.-China trade tensions.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended down $0.44, or about 1.8%, at $23.55 a barrel, after having spurted more than 11% to $26.74 earlier in the session.
Brent crude futures ended lower by $0.26 at $29.46 a barrel.
On Wednesday, WTI crude oil futures for June ended down $0.57, or 2.3%, at $23.99 a barrel, snapping a five-day winning streak.
Data released by China’s General Administration of Customs showed crude oil arrivals in China were equivalent to 9.84 million barrels on a daily basis. That was up from the 9.68 million barrels per day in March.