West Texas Intermediate slid from the highest closing price in two weeks amid slowing economic growth and weaker industrial output in China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer.
Futures lost as much as 0.9 percent in New York. Factory production rose by 9.7 percent in December, the slowest expansion in five months, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief welcomed the start of the implementation of an interim nuclear deal with world powers that will see the Gulf state curb its atomic program in exchange for sanctions relief.
“The modest, tepid Chinese economic data surprised investors and is bringing more uncertainty about the prospects for the Chinese economy in the medium term,” said Myrto Sokou, senior analyst at Sucden Financial Ltd. London. “Signs about the situation with Iran’s nuclear program are also going to provide momentum in the coming days.”
WTI for February delivery fell as much as 81 cents to $93.56 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $93.90 as of 9:42 a.m. local time. The contract, which expires tomorrow, climbed 41 cents to $94.37 on Jan. 17, the highest close since Jan. 2. The more-active March future was down 41 cents at $94.18. Floor trading is closed for a U.S. holiday and transactions will be booked with tomorrow’s trades.