BANGKOK (AP) — Oil fell to near $90 a barrel Monday in Asia as economic problems in Europe and China suggested demand for crude will weaken.
The benchmark crude futures contract for September delivery was down $1.45 at $90.39 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The August contract, which expired Friday, ended down $1.22 at $91.44 per barrel in New York.
Brent crude was down $1.41 at $105.42 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
The already dim global economic outlook was further clouded by weekend reports that an adviser to China's central bank predicted the world's second largest economy could slow further in the third quarter. Economic growth in the world's No. 2 crude consumer slowed to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter as foreign demand for Chinese exports weakened and measures to control inflation crimped activity.
Meanwhile, Europe's lengthy battle with a massive government debt crisis continues to take a toll on industries in other countries such as the U.S. and China. It also has cut demand for oil and other energy products.
On Friday, Spain's government predicted its recession will extend into next year and the region of Valencia said it needed help from the central government to pay its bills. Germany was also a concern as finance officials there said growth in Europe's strongest economy likely slowed somewhat in the second quarter.
In other energy trading, gasoline was down 2.6 cents at $2.819 a gallon and heating oil fell 2.7 cents to $2.897 a gallon. Natural gas was up 0.4 cent at $3.085 per 1,000 cubic feet.