Oil prices dropped today, after poor data from China dampened the outlook for oil demand, eclipsing positive data from the US, which showed that hiring has improved in the country.

Brent oil dropped by 44 cents to $104.12 a barrel, while US oil dropped by 37 cents to $95.66 per barrel, reported Reuters.

In the US, employers have increased hiring by a little more than was predicted in May; however, the jobless rate continues to be above pre-recession levels.

According to economists, the data reveals that the economy is still in need of the Federal Reserve’s monetary support, and could only gain some strength by September for the US central bank to withdraw its bond-buying stimulus.

Prices also received some boost from worries that Sudan will reduce oil exports from South Sudan.

However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which produces more than a third of the world’s oil, said it cannot pump more due to a US oil boom.

Oil prices may come under pressure as China, the world’s second largest consumer, released bleak data, which showed weakness in May exports, while domestic activity is still struggling.

Image: Data showing employers increased hiring in the US more than predicted in May failed to boost oil prices due to negative data from China. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.