Oil prices fell Monday as weak China economic data intensified concerns about lowered demand from the world's second-largest economy and largest crude importer, and as Saudi Aramco said it was ready to increase oil output, Reuters and The Associated Press report.
International benchmark Brent crude fell 1.2 percent to $97.01 per barrel following a 1.5 percent drop on Friday. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell $1.06, or 1.2 percent, to $91.03, after falling 2.4 percent on Friday. Government data in China showed that the country's economy unexpectedly slowed in July and refinery output dropped to its lowest since March 2020, suggesting oil demand was falling after high fuel prices forced consumers to cut back.
China's central bank cut a key interest rate Monday to boost growth.
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