Oil fell to the lowest level this year
Intermediate crude fell to the lowest level this year as China’s economic growth
unexpectedly lost momentum, raising concern that demand from the world’s
second-biggest oil-consuming country will slow.
broke below $90 as China’s
first-quarter gross domestic product increased 7.7 percent from a year earlier,
the National Bureau of Statistics reported in Beijing. That’s less than the 8 percent
forecast in a survey of economists and the 7.9 percent expansion in the fourth
oil use was the least in five months in March, statistics bureau data showed. Commodities
tumbled, led by metals and energy.
China’s first-quarter growth was lower
than all except two of the 41 analyst estimates in the survey. They ranged from
7.5 percent to 8.3 percent. Chinese GDP expanded 7.8 percent in 2012, the least
China used 9.76 million barrels of oil in
2011, according to BP Plc (BP/)’s Statistical Review of World Energy, behind
only the U.S.
in terms of oil consumption.
China’s apparent oil demand in March grew
2.7 percent from a year earlier to 9.77 million barrels a day, according to
statistics bureau data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s down from February’s 10.2
million and is the lowest level since October.
economic growth “translates into weaker oil demand growth, but we think
development there is still pretty energy intensive,” Walker said.
fell as manufacturing in the New York
region expanded less than projected in April. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general
economic index dropped to 3.1 this month from 9.2 in March. Readings exceeding zero signal expansion in New York, northern New Jersey
and southern Connecticut.
WTI for May
delivery falling to $87.86, the lowest intraday level since Dec. 19. The volume
of all futures traded was almost double the 100-day average.
May settlement, which expires today, fell $2.58, or 2.5 percent, to $100.53 a
barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after dropping to
$100.41 a barrel, the least since July. Volume was 34 percent above the 100-day
average. The more actively traded June contract slid $2.35, or 2.3 percent, to