Oil fell as traders assessed the outlook for China and OPEC+ policy.

(Bloomberg) — Oil fell as weak Chinese data raised concerns about demand, and traders awaited an OPEC+ meeting on supply policy.

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Brent was below $83 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate was trading near $78. While poor Chinese credit and inflation data over the weekend showed the government struggling to boost demand in the world's top crude importer, a series of planned long-term sovereign bond sales points to authorities looking to boost growth and energy consumption. Want to do more to help.

Meanwhile, on the supply front, Iraqi Oil Minister Hayyan Abdul Ghani initially said over the weekend that Baghdad had made substantial production cuts and would not agree to more. But he later said that any decision is a matter of OPEC and whatever decision the group takes, it will stick to it. OPEC+ meeting will be held on June 1.

Crude oil has been falling since mid-April, as tensions in the Middle East have caused prices to give up most of the risk premium. They are also under pressure from the mixed demand scenario. Timespreads – one of the market's most closely tracked metrics – suggest conditions are becoming less tight.

“I expect there will be some pressure on crude oil as the Gaza-related geopolitical risk premium continues to come down,” said Vandana Hari, founder of Wanda Insights in Singapore. Iraq's comments on OPEC+ supply were a “storm in a teacup,” he said.

Iraq, the second-largest producer among OPEC members, has been a source of some unease in the group as it has failed to fully implement existing cuts. Still, most market watchers expect the broader OPEC+ group to extend curbs in the second half despite the expansion of collective spare capacity.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to present its market outlook on Tuesday, which will provide clues on the global balance, demand outlook as well as supply dynamics. A report from the International Energy Agency is also coming this week.

Brent's instant spread – the difference between its two nearest contracts – has narrowed to 42 cents a barrel in backwardation, compared with $1.20 two weeks ago.

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