Oil prices fall on China and Europe demand concerns

Brent Crude Oil Futures $/barrel

Last Updated at 24 Apr 2014, 16:15 ET *Chart shows local time Brent Crude Oil Future intraday chart
price change %
110.41 +
+1.30
+
+1.19

Related Stories

Oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday as economic data from China and Europe sparked worries about global demand.

Brent crude for November delivery fell $3.40 to $108.17 a barrel, while US crude settled $3.75 lower at $88.14 a barrel.

In September, Brent crude hit a peak of $117.95, a four-month high.

Analysts said many factors that had pushed up prices, such as tensions between Iran and Israel, had also abated.

"The energy markets realigned themselves to fundamentals last night in dramatic fashion," said Justin Harper from IG Markets in a note to clients.

Slowing China

Data from China, released on Wednesday, was one of the factors that led to the sell-off in oil and other commodities.

It showed that China's services sector expanded at a slower pace in September. It came days after government data indicated that manufacturing continues to slow.

China is a major importer of commodities and a slowdown there makes a huge dent in demand.

That coupled with weakness in European economies signalled that there would be plenty of supply.

"US crude plummeted 4.1% through a combination of over-supply and low demand," said Mr Harper.

"US stockpiles have reached their highest for 15 years."

Meanwhile, concerns over possible military action between Israel and Iran also eased.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.