Oil prices slipped today, following the release of Chinese data indicating a patchy economic revival in the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, thereby increasing demand growth worries.
Brent crude dropped by 32 cents to $110.53 a barrel, while US oil fell by 24 cents to $91.71, reported Reuters.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics released its data, which showed that the consumer price index jumped 3.2% from a year ago, against speculation of a 3.0% rise.
The combined data of annual industrial production (IP) growth in China in January and February was 9.9%, which was the lowest since October 2012.
Prices also came under pressure due to a stronger dollar, which was close to a three and a half year high against the yen.
On Friday, the US Labor Department released data that showed, in February, US employers recruited nearly 236,000 workers to their payrolls, while the jobless rate dropped to a four year low, indicating another sign of a recovery.
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Fresh geopolitical conflict in the Middle East, however, provided some support to the oil market.
In Syria, rebels infiltrated government lines to end a siege of their positions in the strategic central city of Homs, regardless of severe aerial bombardment.
Ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Iran’s disputed nuclear programme have kept Brent above $100 through most of 2012 and in 2013 so far.
Image: Chinese National Bureau of Statistics data showed the consumer price index jumped 3.2% from a year ago. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos / Michelle Meiklejohn.