Oil falls on global economic concern

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Oil prices fell on Tuesday amid concerns about a slowing global economy and the expected build-up of U.S. inventories.

At 1746 GMT, the Brent crude It was down $1.36, or 1.5 percent, at $86.83 a barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate in the United States (WTI) it gave up $1.11, or 1.4%, to $80.51.

U.S. business activity contracted for a seventh straight month in January, although the slowdown moderated in both the manufacturing and services sectors for the first time since September, while business confidence strengthened at the start of the new year.

“The (U.S.) economy could still turn around and some energy sector operators remain skeptical about how quickly China’s crude demand will recover this quarter,” OANDA analyst Edward Moya said in a note.

This week, traders will be watching for more business data, as corporate earnings season gathers momentum and offers clues about the health of economies around the world.

Inventories are expected to rise in U.S. crude and gasoline stockpiles last week, along with a decline in distillates, according to a preliminary Reuters poll on Monday.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE) analysts:GS) expect raw materials such as crude oil, refined petroleum products, LNG and soybean rise thanks to the rebound in Chinese demand.

The dollar, meanwhile, hovered around nine-month lows against the euro and gave up recent gains against the yen as traders continued to gauge U.S. recession risks and the direction of Federal Reserve policy.

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