Oil falls 2% amid fears of global economic slowdown



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Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Monday, catching their breath after a recent high, affected by data showing a drop in Chinese imports and exports, raising new fears of a global economic slowdown that hampers demand for oil.

Brent crude futures fell $ 1.49, or 2.5 percent, to $ 58.99 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $ 1.08, or 2.1 percent, to $ 50.51 a barrel.

Prices have risen more than 18 percent since reaching their lowest level in a year and a half by the end of December.

Technology stocks fell on Wall Street after an unexpected drop in China's exports in December raised concerns again about a global economic slowdown.

Data from China also affected oil prices. Official data showed that China's exports fell at the fastest pace in two years in December, while imports shrank.

Despite worries about the outlook, there are few signs that demand for oil in China has weakened. China's oil imports in December were up almost 30% from a year earlier, according to Reuters data based on customs data.

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