May 14, 2015 / 2:51 AM / 2 years ago

Oil slips, worries about world economy offset US crude stocks draw

* Headwinds in world’s top economies weigh on outlook for demand

* U.S. crude stocks fell for 2nd week; refiners cut runs - EIA

By Florence Tan

SINGAPORE, May 14 (Reuters) - Oil slipped on Thursday as weak data from the world’s top economies raised concern about the outlook for global fuel demand, offsetting data that showed a large drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.

China, the world’s top energy consumer, saw its economy losing more steam in April despite easier monetary policy, while Europe’s largest economy, Germany, slowed in the first quarter. In the United States, retail sales were flat in April, dampening hopes of a sharp rebound in growth in the second quarter.

“We’ve had a round of very weak data in the last 24 hours and that’s offset the strength that we would normally expect to come through from a larger than expected draw in U.S. inventories,” said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

June Brent crude fell 22 cents to $66.59 a barrel as of 0221 GMT after settling 5 cents lower in the previous session. U.S. crude for June delivery dropped 32 cents to $60.18 after ending 25 cents down in a volatile session on Wednesday.

Crude stocks in the United States fell for the second week, by 2.2 million barrels, following four months of steady gains, even though refiners pared back record seasonal run rates and imports jumped. Analysts had expected crude inventories to rise by 386,000 barrels.

Despite the drop, inventories were still almost 90 million barrels higher than this time last year. A surprise increase in output in the No. 2 U.S. oil-producing state, North Dakota, in March also added to supply concerns.

“I won’t be surprised to see a pullback in West Texas, say to around $56 to $58 levels, before it moves higher, but there’s quite clearly an uptrend in place now,” McCarthy said.

Oil has rallied in the past month on forecasts of lower U.S. output and as lower prices have boosted stockpiling across Asia. The approach of peak summer demand and a hurricane season in the United States that could disrupt supply also point to higher prices, McCarthy said.

“I think we’re going to see a test of $70 for West Texas at some stage in the next 30 days,” he said.

Editing by Alan Raybould

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