Crude falls on firming U.S. retail sales, soft Chinese industrial data

A A A - Oil prices fell in U.S. trading on Monday after U.S. retail sales beat expectations and sent the dollar rising, while Chinese industrial output figures missed market consensus and fanned fears demand may wane in Asia.

A firming greenback makes oil an increasingly expensive commodity in dollar-denominated exchanges, especially in the eyes of investors holding other currencies.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in June traded down 0.69% at USD95.38 a barrel on Monday, off from a session high of USD95.78 and up from an earlier session low of USD94.49.

The Commerce Department reported earlier that U.S. retail sales rose 0.1% in April, defying expectations for a 0.3% decline. March's figure was revised down to a 0.5% contraction from a 0.4% contraction.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, fell by 0.1% last month, in line with expectations.

The numbers sparked talk that the Federal Reserve may be closer to scaling back stimulus programs, especially its USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program, which weaken the dollar to spur recovery.

Meanwhile in China, industrial production in the Asian giant rose 9.3% in April, below expectations for a 9.5% increase and following an 8.9% rise the previous month, which also pushed own oil prices.

China is the world's second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand in recent years.

Elsewhere on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for July delivery were down 0.54% at USD103.09 a barrel, up USD7.71 from its U.S. counterpart.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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