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Oil continues falling after lowest close of 2013

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Shutterstock photo - Oil futures traded lower during Tuesday's Asian session after falling to their lowest close of the year during Monday's U.S. session as traders digested a batch of weak economic data from China then the U.S.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for June delivery tumbled 1.74% to USD87.48 per barrel in Asian trading Tuesday after settling down 2.74% at USD89.10 a barrel on Monday in the U.S. That was the lowest closing price of the year for New York-traded oil.

Traders ditched commodities and other riskier assets after dealing with some concerning Chinese and U.S. economic news. On Monday in Asia, data out of Beijing revealed that the Chinese gross domestic product expanded by 7.7% year-on-year in the three months to March, down from 7.9% in the fourth quarter and well below expectations for 8.0% growth.

A separate report showed China's industrial production grew 8.9% on-year in March, below market calls for 10.0% growth and also below a 9.9% reading in February.

Chinese retail sales, on the other hand, grew 12.6%, beating market consensus for a 12.5% reading as well as February's 12.3% rate.

In U.S. economic news, the New York Federal Reserve's Empire State Manufacturing Survey fell to 3.05 this month, well below expectations for a reading of 7 and last month's reading of 9.24. The general business conditions index slipped six points to 3.1.

The National Association of Home Builders said its home builder confidence index rose to 42 this month from 24 in April 2012. A reading of 50 is considered to be the dividing line between positive and negative. The U.S. and China are the world's two largest oil consumers.

Those data points come on the heels of the International Energy Agency and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries each lowering their global demand forecasts last week. Traders are clearly concerned that oil demand is not where it should be at this point in the global economic recovery.

Elsewhere, Brent futures for June delivery fell 0.69% to USD99.08. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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