The price of crude oil was ticking lower Monday morning amid concerns over demand growth after U.S. automatic budget cuts came into effect last week. .
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for April delivery, eased $0.08 to $90.60 a barrel. Last week oil ended lower on demand growth concerns after some weak manufacturing data out of China, the world's second largest energy user. Oil prices were also impacted as the dollar strengthened against some major currencies, while the euro continued to slip after some disappointing data from the eurozone.
This morning, the U.S. dollar was extending its 2-month high versus the euro and 30-month high against sterling. The buck was trading around its two-and half year high versus the yen and ticking higher against the Swiss franc.
In economic news, eurozone producer price inflation slowed to 1.9 percent in January as expected by economists, Eurostat reported. The annual rate fell from 2.1 percent in the prior month. Month-on-month, producer prices were up 0.6 percent, reversing a 0.2 percent drop in December. Excluding energy prices, euro area producer price inflation fell to 1.4 percent from 1.6 percent.
Meanwhile, data released by the think-tank Sentix showed that eurozone investor confidence declined in March after improving for six months in a row. The index fell to -10.6 in March, the weakest since December 2012, from -3.9 in the prior month. The March figure was worse-than the expected level of -4.6 points.
During this week, traders focus will be on the monthly non-farm payrolls report for February, the ADP's private sector employment report for February, the results of the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing survey for February and the jobless claims report. The Commerce Department's trade balance report for January and the Beige Book report also evince some interest among traders.
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 RTT Staff Writer
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