16 April 2013, News Wires – Brent crude sank below $100 a barrel for the first time in nine months on Tuesday amid a wider commodities rout, with investors making a beeline for the exits after recent weak data from China and the US fueled worries about demand.
Gold slipped further after posting its biggest ever daily loss in dollar terms in the previous session, while oil shed over $2 in what analysts said were indications that a host of weak fundamental signals dominated sentiment.
Brent crude for June delivery dropped $2.31 to $98.32 per barrel early on Monday, after falling to as low as $98.28 — the lowest since July 2012.
US crude for May delivery was down $2.17 at $86.54 a barrel, after falling to as low as $86.36, the weakest since December 2012.
Oil prices slipped about 3% in the previous session after data showed economic growth in China unexpectedly slowed in the first three months of 2013.
This rattled oil markets already spooked by forecasts for lower global oil demand growth for 2013 released last week by the International Energy Agency, the US Energy Information Administration and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Adding to the gloom was a US regional manufacturing report showing the pace of growth slowed, which comes on the heels of bleak retail sales data and suggests the world’s largest economy had lost some steam heading into the second quarter.
The market was now waiting for weekly oil inventory data from top consumer the United States for trading cues.
A preliminary survey of analysts by Reuters forecast US crude stocks rising by 1.4 million barrels for the week ended 12 April. Distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, were projected to have dropped 300,000 barrels, while gasoline inventories were seen down 800,000 barrels.