Oil drops on disappointing US growth data
NEW YORK - The price of oil is falling again on reports that the U.S. economy isn't growing as expected.
Benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.28 to $86.54 per barrel while Brent crude lost $1.13 to $102.34 per barrel. Oil is now the cheapest it's been all year.
Prices have been falling due to a variety of factors. On Thursday, the U.S. reported that the economy grew by 1.9 percent in the first quarter, slower than first estimated. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits also rose last week to a five-week high.
Tensions also are easing over Iran's nuclear program, reducing chances for a conflict in the Persian Gulf. And China's manufacturing sector is slowing down while Europe's banking crisis threatens to plunge the region into recession.