Oil prices retreat on China data


LONDON (AFP) – Oil prices fell on Monday in the wake of poorly-received Chinese economic data which offset positive US jobs numbers, analysts said.


The price of Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July dropped 46 cents to $104.10 a barrel in late London deals.


New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for July, slipped 27 cents to $95.75 a barrel.


“We attribute the current price weakness to disappointing data from China which were published at the weekend,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.


China has reported a sharp slowdown to its exports in May from April and said imports unexpectedly dropped owing to weakness in the domestic economy and sluggish demand overseas.


Separate data showed industrial production, which measures output at the country’s factories and mines, rose at a slower pace than during the previous month while fixed asset investment also came in below expectations.


The figures from the world’s biggest consumer of energy took the shine off US employment data published on Friday.


US Labor Department figures showed 175,000 jobs were generated in May, despite worries that huge government spending cuts would lead to a slowdown in hiring.


The numbers for May were a firm gain from April’s 149,000 rise, though still below the 193,000-a-month January-April average.


The jobs data, which came after several lacklustre US economic reports last week, also boosted hopes the Fed will hold off any moves to rein in its monetary easing programme any time soon.177898_67027310



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