West Texas Intermediate declined from the highest closing price in more than two weeks as Chinese economic data trailed estimates and the North Sea Buzzard oil field resumed.
WTI dropped as much as 0.7 percent, halting a three-day advance. China’s industrial output rose a less-than-forecast 9.2 percent last month, while export gains were at a 10-month low and imports dropped, weekend data show. Production at the Buzzard field, the largest contributor to the benchmark Forties crude grade, returned to approximately full pumping rates over the past two days, according to two people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified.
“Weakness across commodity markets is taking oil prices lower after China report weaker-than-expected growth in trade and industrial output,” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London.
WTI for July delivery was at $95.39 a barrel, down 64 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:41 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 16 percent below the 100-day average. Prices advanced $1.27, or 1.3 percent, to $96.03 a barrel on June 7, the highest close since May 21.
Brent for July settlement dropped 71 cents to $103.85 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade’s premium to WTI was at $8.47 a barrel, compared with $8.53 on June 7.
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