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Crude falls as Chinese data fuels global growth concerns

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Shutterstock photo - Oil prices dipped on Monday after Chinese industrial production data missed expectations and stocked concerns the global economy may still battle rough patches along its road to more sustained recovery.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in April traded at USD91.40 a barrel on Monday, down 0.60% and off from a session high of USD91.95 and up from an earlier session low of USD90.91.

China's industrial production rose 9.9% in February, below expectations for a 10.5% increase also below a 10.3% hike logged during the previous month.

The news fueled fears that the global economy still faces headwinds, while a firming Chinese consumer price index stoked concerns that Beijing will hold off on stimulus measures that would hike demand for crude.

Consumer prices in China rose by 3.2% in February from a year earlier, above expectations for a 3% increase and accelerating sharply from a 2% rate of increase in January.

Meanwhile, crude saw downward pressure due to a stronger dollar stemming from surprising U.S. jobs data.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that economy added 236,000 nonfarm payrolls in February, way more than an expected 160,000 increase and up above 119,000 reported in January.

The U.S. private sector added 246,000 jobs, beating expectations for a 167,000 increase, following January's 140,000 rise.

The headline unemployment rate fell to 7.7% in February from 7.9% in January, beating analysts' calls for the rate to remain unchanged.

The numbers sparked heavy demand for dollars on sentiment the Federal

Reserve will soon wind down stimulus programs designed to create job demand by flooding the economy with liquidity in a way that encourages investing.

Stimulus tools, including the Fed's monthly USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program known as quantitative easing, weaken the dollar as side effects.

A strong dollar makes crude a more expensive commodity in dollar-denominated exchanges.

Elsewhere on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for April delivery were down 0.70% at USD109.45 a barrel, up USD18.05 from its U.S. counterpart.

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