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Crude Edges Down On Euro Zone Worries

The price of crude oil moved down marginally Monday morning as traders fret over the euro zone debt situation after the Spanish 10-year bond yields today surged above 6 percent level.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for May delivery, slipped $0.28 to $102.55 a barrel. Last week, oil ended almost flat impacted by economic data from China that raised concerns over demand growth. The Chinese economy expanded at the weakest pace in nearly three years in the first quarter of 2012, while a report earlier last week revealed that China unexpectedly swung to a trade surplus in March

This morning, the U.S. dollar advanced to a 2-month high versus the euro and near a 2-week high against sterling. The buck was trading flat against the Swiss franc and the yen.

In economic news, euro zone trade balance moved to a surplus in February, but was lower than forecast by economists, data from Eurostat showed. The trade surplus amounted to EUR 2.8 billion in February compared to revised EUR 7.9 billion deficit in January. Economists expected a surplus of EUR 3 billion. In February last year, the balance was in a deficit of EUR 2.8 billion.

Traders will look to the retail sales report from the U.S. Commerce Department, due out at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect a 0.3 percent increase in retail sales and a 0.6 percent gain in retail sales, excluding autos.

Simultaneously, the results of the New York Federal Reserve's empire state manufacturing survey are scheduled to be released. The headline general business conditions index for April is expected to come in at 18 compared to 20.21 in the previous month.

Later during the session, the National Association of Home Builders will release the results of its April survey on homebuilders' confidence. The consensus estimates call for the index to increase to 29 from 28 in the previous month.

Also, focus will be on the crude oil inventories data from the API, due out Tuesday after the market hours, and the EIA due out the subsequent day.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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