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European debt concerns push oil prices down 2%; WTI now below US$103 a barrel

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The price of oil dropped by nearly two per cent Monday on fresh concerns about Europe’s economy.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude gave up $1.82 to US$102.06 a barrel in morning trading in New York, while Brent crude lost $1.32 to US$117.44 a barrel in London.

Prices declined after the European Union reported that government debts have risen despite aggressive attempts to slash spending.

Separately, a survey showed the eurozone’s manufacturing and services sectors unexpectedly fell in April. That can have ripple effects in the global economy, from companies that export to Europe to banks that hold debt in both countries and European corporations.

Crude has slid from US$110 last month amid investor worries that economic growth in the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest oil consumers, may slow more than previously expected.

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