Oil prices fell today as increasing concerns about the debt crisis in Italy overshadowed signs of positive oil demand from China.

Brent crude dropped 51¢ to stand at $111.80 a barrel, while US crude slipped 39¢ at $95.35 a barrel.

China imported a total of 20.80 million tonnes of crude in October this year, a 1.7% rise from September; however, oil prices were unaffected by this positive news as Italy’s ten-year bond yields shot up above 7%, a level widely deemed unsustainable, triggering sharp falls in Asian shares, reports Reuters.

The market was also hit by concerns about the risk of a supply disruption from Iran, as Western governments called for expanded sanctions against the country.