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Oil prices continue slide

Global oil prices continued their slide from late-June peaks despite a sharper-than-expected drop in US crude inventories.

NEW YORK: Global oil prices continued their slide from late-June peaks on Wednesday despite a sharper-than-expected drop in US crude inventories.

Some analysts credited a low read on inflation in China - pointing to slow economic growth - for the fall.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August lost ground for the ninth straight session, shedding US$1.11 to US$102.29 a barrel compared with Tuesday's close.

Brent North Sea for delivery in August fell 66 cents to close at US$108.28 a barrel in London trade.

The US Department of Energy said Wednesday that American crude inventories tumbled 2.4 million barrels in the week ending July 4, more than the 2.0 million barrels analysts expected.

"Typically a bigger drop in inventories than expected is bullish for crude oil - but a concern over global growth after lower Chinese inflation figures is trumping the oil report," said CMC Markets Jasper Lawler.

"A bigger drawdown would perhaps have been needed to stem the tide of selling hitting oil for the past few sessions."

Official data showed that Chinese inflation slowed to 2.3 per cent in June from a four-month high of 2.5 per cent in May, giving authorities further room to stimulate economic growth in the world's top energy consumer.

"The announcement of lower-than-expected inflation figures for July have highlighted a lingering weakness in the world's second-largest economy," cautioned PVM analyst Tamas Varga.

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