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15.04.2013 16:23

Oil fell to the lowest level this year

West Texas 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.

Prices 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 quarter. China’s 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 since 1999.

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.

Slower economic growth “translates into weaker oil demand growth, but we think development there is still pretty energy intensive,” Walker said.

Oil also 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.

Brent for 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 $100.69.

 

 

15.04.2013 17:21

European stocks close

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