Brent crude headed for its first monthly decline in four amid concern that Europe’s economic recovery is stalling.
Futures dropped as much as 0.7 percent, extending this month’s decline to 3.1 percent. Spain’s economy contracted in the first quarter, sending the country into its second recession since 2009, the National Statistics Institute said. The country’s ministers will hold a press conference today on measures to cut its budget deficit. Equities dropped.
“Brent oil started the week on the negative territory, amid persistent concerns about a slowdown in the oil demand, following poor economic data from Spain that showed the Spanish economy is sliding back into recession,” Myrto Sokou, an analyst at Sucden Financial Ltd. in London, said by e-mail. “The situation in the eurozone looks very vulnerable.”
Brent for June settlement was at $119.01 a barrel, down 82 cents, on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London as of 11:12 a.m. local time. Prices are poised for the first monthly drop since December. The European benchmark contract’s front month premium to West Texas Intermediate was at $14.73, from $14.90 on April 27.
Crude for June delivery was at $104.22 a barrel, down 71 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.