Price of oil holds
on economic news
The price of oil was steady near $98 a barrel on Thursday after plunging the day before on concerns that China’s economic slowdown is deepening.
By mid-afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery was down 10 cents to $97.89 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the Nymex contract fell $2.04 to close at $97.99, its first close below $100 in a month.
Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, was down 21 cents to $107.81 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Data showing a decline in Chinese exports in February fueled worries that the world’s second-largest economy is weakening further.
Also weighing on prices was the eighth consecutive week of rising U.S. stocks of crude oil, which increased by 6.2 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said.
Oil prices spiked last week on fears Russia’s military incursion into the Crimean Peninsula might lead to U.S. and European sanctions on one of the world’s largest energy suppliers.