Poor China Data
The world's second largest economy and consumer of oil, behind the United States, reported some disappointing economic data today. In particular, April Retail Sales plunged 11.1% year-over-year, from -3.5% prior, while Industrial Production dropped 2.9% year-over year from +5% in the previous month.
Furthermore, the country central bank (PBOC), which in contrast to it major Western counterparts is employing expansionary monetary policies, refrained from cutting key rates, maintaining the one-year medium-term lending facility rate at 2.85% today.
China's Covid-19 Situation
The above economic data, show that this year's Covid-19 outbreak and the relevant lockdown's which are dictated by the strict zero-Covid policy, have taken a toll on the economy.
Earlier in the month, the country's top leadership had reiterated its commitment to this aggressive strategy , while WHO's Director General Dr Tedros, criticized it last week, saying that it "will not be sustainable and considering the behavior of the virus I think a shift would be very important". 
Based on today's update, there were 1,227 new Covid-19 cases in mainland China on May 15, 939 of which, in Shanghai, which has been in the epicenter . As per Reuters, the Shanghai authorities plan to broadly reopen the city from June 1. 
The commodity comes from a mixed week, which was dominated by poor sentiment and the Crypto rout. Today it plunges, as sentiment took a nosedive after China's disappointing data.
USOIL sheds more than 2% at the time of writing ahead of the European session, which makes it vulnerable to the EMA200 (104.00), but fresh catalyst will likely required for a bigger decline that will threaten this month lows and the ascending trendline from the December lows (99.40-98.18).
Despite the sudden drop, black gold runs the sixth straight positive month and bulls remain in control above the EMA200. As such, they can push for higher highs, although closes above the 116.60-119.93 area may prove elusive for now.
Senior Market Specialist
Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.
With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.
Retrieved 16 May 2022 https://www.youtube.com/watch
Retrieved 16 May 2022 http://en.nhc.gov.cn/2022-05/16/c_85962.htm