New benchmark oil future launched in Shanghai

China wants to get in the game of trading financial oil products and is now launching a new future.

A new oil future saw the light of day this Monday, with the launch of the Shanghai crude oil future, potentially marking the beginning of a new yuan-denominated oil price benchmark. It will be traded alongside the dominant futures of today – North Sea oil Brent and US reference oil West Texas Intermediate (WTI).

The launch of China's yuan-denominated oil future is the result of a decade's work by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) to give the world's largest energy consumers more influence on the pricing of oil sold to Asia.

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