Oil extended declines on Thursday after the previous day’s plunge, as China’s industrial output and retail sales growth in May missed forecasts, reinforcing concerns about a weak economic recovery in the world’s top oil importer.
Brent crude futures dipped 21 cents, or 0.3%, to $72.99 a barrel by 0400 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 20 cents, or 0.3%, at $68.07 a barrel.
Both benchmarks fell 1.5% on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve projected the need for more rate hikes this year, triggering fears that a higher interest rate environment would slow the economy and lower oil demand.
Data from China on Thursday did little to soothe demand concerns, with signs that its economic rebound has lost momentum.
China’s industrial output grew 3.5% in May, down from an expansion of 5.6% in April and slightly below a 3.6% increase expected by analysts in a Reuters poll, as manufacturers struggled with weak demand at home and offshore.