Brent crude oil continued to slide on Tuesday morning, trading at $109.72 at 6:58 GMT following news of weak Chinese industrial data.
China's National Bureau of Statistics released figures that showed a higher than expected consumer price index increase of 3.2 percent in February. Also troubling was annual industrial production growth data from January and February, which combined at 9.9 percent, was at its lowest since October 2012.
Also weighing on Brent prices is the possibility of South Sudan resuming oil exports within two weeks. According to CNBC, Sudan and South Sudan are planning to order the resumption of southern oil exports through Sudanese pipelines within two weeks. The reopening will contribute nearly 350,000 barrels per day to the market after being shut down for more than a year because of a dispute over fees.
Tension over Iran's disputed nuclear program remained a floor beneath Brent prices. Sanctions, in place since 2012, have kept the region's exports low and negotiations over the nation's nuclear technology have long threatened to disrupt supply.
The Syrian civil war is also keeping Brent prices above $100 as the nation's violent battle drags on and threatens to draw in some of Syria's oil exporting neighbors. Although Syria itself is not a major player in the oil market, the nation's location near several important oil producing countries makes its internal war a source of concern.
Looking forward, investors will be watching for market reports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the Energy Information Administration on Tuesday and from the International Energy Agency on Wednesday.
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