Oil Sinks, Pressured by China, OPEC and Warmer U.S. Weather


NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil prices slid as much as 7 percent on Monday, pressured by weak economic data from China, a U.S. forecast for mild weather and growing doubts that OPEC and non-OPEC producers would come together to reduce the swelling global supply glut.

Chinese manufacturing contracted in January at the fastest pace since 2012, adding to worries about energy demand from the world's largest energy consumer.

"China is the last standing consumer of oil outside of the U.S. The problem is that everyone is relying on them," said Carl Larry, director of business development at Frost & Sullivan in Houston.

"As long as we keep in this scenario where China is the only real consumer to pick up the pace, we're going to see moves lower every time China has an issue with their economy."

A mild U.S. winter has also dented demand for oil. Forecasts for warm temperatures through mid-February sent U.S. New York Harbor heating oil futures down as much as 5 percent.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slid to its biggest daily loss in five months, down 6.9 percent to an intraday low of $31.29 in volatile afternoon trading. That was still 19.5 percent higher than the more than 12-year low of $26.19 hit in mid-January.

The contract eventually settled at $31.62, down 5.9 percent or $2.


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