Oil prices slip on profit-taking, weak Chinese data
World oil prices slid on Friday, as dealers took profits from recent sharp gains, and weaker Chinese economic data dampened investor sentiment.
New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, retreated 30 cents to 75.18 dollars a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for July dipped ten cents to 75.19 dollars per barrel in morning London deals.
Industrial output from China's millions of factories and workshops rose 16.5 percent in May, slower than April's increase of 17.8 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics announced on Friday.
"There might be some caution due to the Chinese industrial production data, which was slightly lower than expectations," ANZ bank oil analyst Serene Lim said.
"But overall their economic numbers look strong and there is some risk of overheating," she said.
China is the world's second-biggest oil consumer after the United States, and its economic data now have a significant impact on the market for crude.
Lim added that investors were also taking profits after crude prices rallied in recent sessions.
Oil had risen for the third day running on Thursday, boosted by strong Chinese exports data and an upbeat energy demand outlook from the International Energy Agency.
China said on Thursday that its trade surplus soared in May on strong foreign demand that drove exports up a whopping 48.5 percent from a year ago.
The trade figures helped ease concerns that the eurozone debt crisis would weigh on the world's third-largest economy.
The oil market also gained a boost from the International Energy Agency's latest monthly Oil Market Report.
The IEA on Thursday hiked its estimate of global demand this year by 60,000 barrels per day to 86.4 million bpd, saying initial data on economic activity in advanced countries was stronger than expected.
© 2010 AFP