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Crude drops on soft Chinese trade figures

By: Investing.com
Posted: 3/10/2014 1:53:00 PM
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Investing.com - Crude prices took a dive on Monday after poor Chinese trade figures spooked investors with fears emerging-market economies are cooling and will consume less fuel and energy.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April traded at $101.21 a barrel during U.S. trading, down 1.34%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $100.86 a barrel and a high of $102.73 a barrel.

The April contract settled up 1.00% at $102.58 a barrel on Friday.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $100.17 a barrel, Thursday's low, and resistance at $102.89 a barrel, Friday's high.

Weak Chinese trade data bruised oil prices on Monday.

Data released over the weekend revealed that Chinese exports fell 18.1% on-year in February, defying expectations for a 6.8% increase, following a rise of 10.6% in January.

A separate report showed that the annual rate of inflation in China slowed to 2.0% in February, from 2.5% in January.

The numbers confirmed market fears that emerging markets are cooling.

China is the world's second-largest consumer of crude oil.

Cushioning losses, however, were ongoing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Libya, which could threaten global supply if escalated.

Friday's better-than-expected U.S. jobs report offset losses as well by boosting hopes demand will pick up in the world's largest consumer of oil.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, beating expectations for a 149,000 increase.

January's figure was revised up to 129,000 from 113,000.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for April delivery were down 0.90% and trading at US$107.49 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$6.28 a barrel.

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