NEW YORK, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices fell to an eight- month low Monday after an earlier rally on Spain's banks aid, as concerns over a global economic slowdown lingered.
Crude prices rallied more than 2 dollars in early trading on the news that European finance ministers agreed to inject up to 100 billion euros to Spain's banks. But concerns that Italy would follow Spain's steps and ask the European Union for financial aid drove the crude down, paring the gains.
Spain was the fourth euro zone country after Greece, Portugal and Ireland that requested bailouts since the breakout of the debt crisis. If Italy, the third largest European Union economy also joined them, investors worried that the EU might not have enough facilities to offer help and the European economy would be in threat.
Meanwhile, worries about the economic slowdown in the United States and China, the two biggest oil consumers in the world, remained.
China's data came in mixed on Monday. On the bearish side, China's industrial production in May was lower than expected. On the bullish side, China imported nearly 6 million barrels of crude a day in May, 10 percent more than April.
To add to the pressure, Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, said OPEC may need to raise output targets at its Thursday meeting in Vienna.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery fell 1.40 dollars, or 1.66 percent to settle at 82.70 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the first time for WTI to settle under 83 dollars since October.
In London, Brent crude for July delivery also declined sharply and last traded around 97 dollars a barrel.