Global crude oil prices slipped on Thursday on both sides of the Atlantic, pressured by weaker economic data from China as well as the prospect of a rebound in oil exports from Libya.
Chinese exports fell unexpectedly in March for a second straight month and imports dropped sharply, intensifying expectations of weaker manufacturing and slowing growth in the world's No. 2 economy. China's crude imports fell to a five-month low, but rose 2 percent on year.
Meanwhile, Libya took another step toward increasing oil exports as national oil officials lifted a force majeure on the North African country's easternmost port of Hariga, a port that had been blockaded for nine-months as part of a dispute between the government and rebel groups. However, a force majeure remained in effect at Zueitina, the other recently reopened port.