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Chinese bear trap

Oil demand is in for another good year, but gas will be the standout. And the country's oil majors are coming back to the market

For China bears who predicted faltering economic growth and slower growth in energy demand, 2017 showed yet again how dangerous it is to underestimate the strength of the country's economy. Last year turned out to be a much stronger one than many expected, which was a boon for almost all commodities. Whether that represents a newfound stability or yet another counter-cycle on China's path to slower growth is the key question on the mind of most investors going into 2018. While Opec disappointed oil markets in 2017, demand did not. Global demand estimates were revised up significantly to 1.6m barrels a day. Much of this was down to China, which accounted for almost one third of the increment

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