Oil prices were down in Asia today as Chinese industrial production showed signs of a slowdown, with the strong US dollar also putting pressure on prices, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, eased 26 cents to $91.69 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for April dipped 41 cents to $110.42 in the late morning trade.

Official data released on Saturday had showed China’s inflation hitting a 10-month high in February. Industrial output, which reflects production at China’s factories, workshops and mines, rose 9.9 per cent year-on-year over the first two months of 2013 compared with 11.4 per cent in the same period of 2012.

“Chinese data showing industrial production slowing has taken a toll on oil prices,” said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore.

Chinese energy demand has a major impact on oil futures prices.

Victor Shum, Managing Director at IHS Purvin and Gertz in Singapore, added that the pick-up in the greenback was also hitting prices.

“A booming oil supply, in combination with the strengthening of the dollar after a strong US jobs report last week, has caused some selling,” he said.

The US Labour Department on Friday had reported that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 per cent in February from 7.9 per cent in January, and the country gained a better-than-expected net 2,36,000 jobs last month, raising hopes that the economy is strengthening.