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Crude oil futures decline after disappointing German, French GDP data

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Shutterstock photo - - Crude oil futures were lower on Thursday, after data showed that Germany's economy contracted in the second quarter while growth in France stagnated, fuelling concerns over a slowdown in global demand.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for October delivery fell 0.33%, or 35 cents, to trade at $104.71 a barrel during European morning hours.

Germany's gross domestic product shrank by 0.2% in the three months to June, the first drop since 2012. Economists had forecasts a contraction of 0.1%. First quarter growth was also revised down to 0.7% from 0.8% previously.

Earlier Thursday official data showed that French GDP was flat in the second quarter, the second consecutive quarter of stagnation. Economists had expected an expansion of 0.1%.

The euro zone accounted for nearly 16% of global oil consumption last year.

London-traded Brent futures slumped to a 13-month low of $103.26 a barrel on Wednesday, as global supplies were seen as ample despite ongoing violence in Ukraine and the Middle East.

Elsewhere, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in September declined 0.38%, or 38 cents, to trade at $97.22 a barrel.

A day earlier, U.S. oil futures dropped to $96.75 a barrel after weekly supply data showed that oil inventories rose by 1.4 million barrels last week, compared to expectations for a decline of 2.0 million barrels

Market players looked ahead to the release of U.S. jobless claims data later in the day for further clues on the health of the economy.

Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. retail sales were flat last month, disappointing expectations for a 0.2% increase.

A raft of disappointing Chinese economic reports on Wednesday cast doubt over the health of the world's second largest economy.

Data showed that industrial production there rose at an annualized rate of 9% in July, slowing from an increase of 9.2% a month earlier.

Chinese bank lending and money supply growth for July also came in below expectations, underlining concerns about slowing growth in the world's biggest consumer of the industrial metal.

New loans dropped to 385.2 billion yuan last month from 1.08 trillion yuan in June, while social financing aggregate, a broad measure of liquidity in the economy, fell to 273.1 billion yuan, the lowest monthly reading since October 2008.

The U.S. and China are the world's two largest oil consuming nations. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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