Oil prices fell on Friday and posted a weekly loss after data
showed that first-quarter economic growth in China, the world's No.
2 oil consumer, was the weakest in nearly three years, reinforcing
concerns about slowing demand for petroleum, Reuters reported.
It said a stronger dollar and a slip in U.S. consumer confidence
in early April, as gasoline prices hit household budgets, also
pressured oil prices.
But, it added, caution ahead of talks between Iran and five
permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany about Tehran's
disputed nuclear program helped limit oil's losses heading into the
weekend, as did news of falling North Sea oil production.
Expiring May Brent crude managed to recover and last traded up
10 cents at US$121.81 a barrel, awaiting settlement, with volume
just above 12,000 lots traded. The more actively traded Brent crude
for June delivery slipped 36 cents to US$121.16 at 2.47 p.m. EDT
U.S. May crude fell 81 cents to settle at US$102.83, posting a
small, 48-cent loss for the week.
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