March crude oil prices traded lower during the early morning hours and reached their lowest level since December 1st. Some traders indicated that the macroeconomic tone turned negative this morning after fourth quarter GDP data in the UK showed a surprise contraction. The weak data point seemed to foster concerns over future demand prospects, especially as the country embarks on austerity measures. It also appeared that crude oil was under pressure over the prospect of another weekly EIA inventory build (expected up 1.0 million barrels) in the wake of diminishing demand prospects.
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