Oil prices eased on Monday in choppy trading on concerns that slower economic growth in China and the debt crisis in Europe will curb demand for petroleum, while the potential for Middle East turmoil to disrupt supplies limited losses. Brent crude especially received support as Turkey and Syria exchanged artillery fire for a sixth day, keeping in focus the threat of a wider conflict in the region. Brent prices moved higher in post-settlement trading as the seesaw price trajectory continued.
Crude futures encountered pressure when the World Bank cut its economic growth forecasts for East Asia and the Pacific region and said there was a risk the slowdown in China, the global No. 2 oil consumer, could be deeper and more prolonged than expected by many analysts.