Oil prices

Oil prices dropped today after weak data from China and the US sparked concerns of a delay in economic growth in the world’s two top oil consumers.

Brent crude slipped $1.71 to $101.40 a barrel, while US crude fell by two dollars to hit its lowest price in more than three months at $88.46, before recovering to $89.15, reported Reuters.

China’s economic revival faltered in the first three months of 2013, with the annual rate of growth halting to 7.7% from 7.9% in the final quarter of 2012, while economists had predicted an eight percent growth.

The country’s weak data came after a report on Friday showed that US retail sales shrunk in March for the second time in three months.

Oil demand also dropped in China to its lowest level in seven months in March, after leading consumers stayed away from buying, expecting a cut in prices.

On Monday, the World Bank lowered its 2013 growth forecasts for developing east Asian countries, suggesting that a probable over-heating in the region’s larger economies may lead to inflation and asset bubbles. In its recent east Asia and Pacific update, the bank reduced its GDP growth forecast for China by 0.1% point to 8.3% for 2013.

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By GlobalData

Image: Oil demand in China fell to its lowest level in seven months in March. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos / Rawich.