Brent crude slipped up today, following the release of discouraging eurozone data, which has revived economic worries in Europe.

Brent crude dropped by 28 cents to $117.72 per barrel, while US crude also dropped, by 22 cents, to $97.10 per barrel, reported Reuters.

The eurozone’s economic output dropped by 0.6% in the final quarter of 2012, marking the steepest quarter-on-quarter fall since 2009, while analysts anticipated the output to drop 0.4%.

Data from the bloc’s largest economies, Germany and France, is worse than expected, diminishing the hope offered by positive industrial output data on Wednesday.

Also adding to fears raised by eurozone data is Japan’s data on Thursday, which showed that the country is still to recover from the recession.

US fiscal concerns have also not been resolved, thereby adding pressure on the markets.

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By GlobalData

Prices got some boost from US jobless figures, which dropped 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted number of 341,000, a smaller figure than the 360,000 predicted in a Reuters poll, indicating an improvement in job conditions in the world’s biggest oil consumer.

On the other hand, fresh concerns regarding Iran’s controversial nuclear programme and tensions in other Middle East nations have also supported prices.

The ongoing discussions between Iran and the UN seem to have failed, after its inspectors came back from Tehran on Thursday, without reaching an agreement on whether to revive a nuclear investigation and failing to set a future date for a new meeting.

Civil unrest in Syria continues to worsen, leading to worries about disruption of Middle Eastern supplies.

Image: Eurozone’s economic output dropped by 0.6% in the final quarter of 2012. Photo courtesy of Lars Christopher Nøttaasen.