Brent dragged under by relentless China worries

Brent crude oil slipped below $107 a barrel on Friday and was headed for its first monthly fall since September, weighed down by worries over emerging economies and U.S. plans to keep cutting monetary stimulus.

The international benchmark was poised to slip 3.3 percent in January, following emerging markets lower after data this month showed China’s fuel consumption rose at its slowest pace in over 20 years in 2013.

Drawing strength from a cold spell and an improving economy, the U.S. futures contract, known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), is set to end little changed on the month, narrowing the difference between the two.

Crude fell by nearly $1 to near $107 a barrel, after ending 10 cents higher in the previous session. Trade was thin with a series of markets in Asia closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.