NEW YORK - Crude prices fell on Monday as Italy's recession and China's international trade deficit caused demand concerns.
Recession concerns clouded Europe. Italy's gross domestic product dropped 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 after a 0.2-percent decline in the third quarter, indicating a recession. Portugal's inflation rate for February climbed, while Spain, grilled by the EU Commission on a harsh deficit cut plan, also saw economic contraction signs.
China posted the largest monthly trade deficit in more than two decades for February, sparking more concerns about oil demand.
Meanwhile, energy ministers from 88 countries around the world representing some 90 percent of global supply and demand are gathering on Tuesday in Kuwait City. They would discuss the future energy mix against a controversial backdrop of higher oil prices.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery dropped $1.06, or 0.99 percent, to settle at $106.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for April delivery slipped 64 cents, or 0.51 percent, to close at $125.34 a barrel.