By Simon Falush
LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil jumped by more than a dollar to $99 a barrel on Thursday, snapping a six-session losing streak, with dealers saying it looked oversold after losing 10 percent this month.
Oil earlier fell to a fresh nine-month low amid a wider commodities rout triggered by data on Monday showing growth in China had slowed unexpectedly in the first three months of 2013.
But investors saw that the slide had run out of steam, with some looking to move back into the market at lower levels.
Brent crude futures for June delivery were up $1.41 at $99.10 per barrel at 0933 GMT, the day's high. The price had earlier slipped to $96.75, its weakest since July last year.
Brent prices shed more than 8 percent in the six sessions to Wednesday, their steepest 6-day drop since September 2011.
U.S. crude futures added $1.10 to $87.78 a barrel, after earlier shedding more than $1 to hit a low of $85.61.
Tony Machacek, broker at Jefferies Bache said there was scope for further weakness in coming sessions.
'The market looks a tad oversold on a technical basis, but after the price consolidates, it won't look so stretched on a relative strength basis and we could see another leg lower.'
Supply concerns also supported prices as Royal Dutch Shell declared force majeure on Nigerian Bonny Light crude oil exports after shutting down the 150,000 barrel per day Nembe Creek pipeline for repairs, the company said on Wednesday.
The weekly report from the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration showed a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories, but an increase in distillate and gasoline supplies on the U.S. East Coast, which includes the New York harbour.
Stockpiles of crude at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for the U.S. oil futures contract, however, climbed by more than a million barrels, the data showed.
The EIA report follows a cut in global growth projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for this year and next.
Oil prices were capped by risk of political uncertainty in the euro zone, where Italy's divided parliament begins voting for a new state president on Thursday, a crucial step towards resolving the stalemate since the inconclusive election in February and to carry on with fiscal reforms.
A slowing economy could push Brent oil below $95 a barrel in the near term, analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.
'Brent prices have declined by almost $20/bbl on a combination of seasonal and cyclical headwinds. Some of these cyclical pressures are too large to ignore, such as China's drop in energy demand growth or Europe's sharp contraction in credit supply,' they said in a note.
China's implied oil demand fell to its lowest in seven months in March, fanning concerns that recovery in demand may be less vigorous than expected.
OPEC members will discuss holding an emergency meeting if oil prices stay below $100 a barrel, Iran's oil minister Rostam Qasemi said on Wednesday, but the idea got little support from the group's members across the Gulf.
OPEC's next meeting is scheduled for May 31, but Iran's Press TV reported Qasemi as saying the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would consider calling an emergency meeting if prices remained below $100.
(Additional reporting by Jessica Jaganthan in Singapore and Osamu Tsukimori in Tokyo; editing by James Jukwey) Keywords: MARKETS OIL/
(Reporting by Simon Falush)(email@example.com)(+44 2075427681)(Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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