Brent crude oil prices fell for a fourth straight day on Friday, dropping under $100 a barrel to a 16-month low, as weak U.S. and Chinese economic data thrashed markets and sent investors to perceived safer havens.
Data showing U.S. job growth stumbled in May and the jobless rate rose for the first time in nearly a year, added to worries about the global economy's health. A report from No. 2 oil consumer China, indicated a slowdown in that country's manufacturing sector, which dragged crude down early on Friday.
That weak data added to ongoing worries the euro zone crisis will hurt fuel demand, to pull Brent crude down its 2012 peak of more than $128 a barrel in early March.
"The negative employment data caps the recent deterioration in global economic data," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York.
"From China to Europe to the U.S., all the data have shown real slowing."
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