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Shanghai oil price lags Brent and WTI as global money stays offshore

Yuan barrier and suspected Iranian smuggling keep Chinese market isolated

An oil tanker docks at a port in China's Zhejiang Province. China, the world's biggest petroleum importer, has struggled to attact international traders to the Shanghai International Energy Exchange.   © Reuters

TOKYO/SHANGHAI -- Crude oil traded in Shanghai's 3-year-old futures market now trails more established Western price benchmarks after leading them last spring, as international traders remain wary of wading in.

Contracts for July settled Wednesday at 448.70 yuan per barrel on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange. This price translates to just over $70, or roughly $2 lower than comparable Brent crude oil futures traded in London.

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