* Oil down more than $1 as part of commodities rout
* U.S. crude hits weakest since December 2012
* Euro zone inflation continued to ease in March
* Coming up: API oil data; 2030 GMT (Updates throughout, changes dateline from previous SINGAPORE)
By Ron Bousso
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Brent crude sank below $100 a barrel for the first time in nine months on Tuesday in a broad commodities rout after recent weak data from China and the United States spurred worries about oil demand.
A dismal global economic outlook dragged gold down to a more than two-year low and shaved over $2 off oil prices earlier in the session. While commodities recouped some of the losses shaky investor sentiment kept a lid on prices.
A bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon added to the market volatility.
Brent crude for June delivery dropped $1.03 to $99.60 per barrel by 0918 GMT, after falling to as low as $98.00 - the lowest since July 2012.
U.S. crude for May delivery fell 77 cents to $87.94 a barrel, after hitting a low of $86.06 - its weakest since December 2012. The prices were set for their longest losing streak also since December.
Oil prices slipped about 3 percent on Monday after data showed economic growth in the world's second largest oil consumer China unexpectedly slowed in the first three months of 2013.
This rattled oil markets already spooked by forecasts for lower global oil demand growth.
"Somewhat disappointing Chinese GDP data yesterday might have contributed to the bearish sentiment in the oil futures markets," analysts at JBC Energy said.
"However... Monday's sell-off across virtually all commodities and equities markets and the extent of losses in some markets is difficult to justify on fundamental grounds solely, with herd behaviour and momentum trading contributing to the sell-off in yesterday's session," JBC Energy said.
Ian Taylor, head of the world's biggest oil trader Vitol, said on Tuesday that oil prices were unlikely to fall much further for a while.
"I think it has done what it is going to do for a while," the Vitol group president and chief executive told Reuters.
Analysts supported Taylor's view.
"A continued price slide is unlikely, for this would prompt OPEC to reduce supply in a bid to shore up the price. At an oil price of below $100 per barrel, some OPEC producers find it difficult to finance their national expenditure through oil revenues," analysts at Commerzbank said.
The expiration of the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) May contract on Wednesday could put further downward pressure on the U.S. benchmark, according to Petromatrix analyst Oliver Jakob.
WEAK DATA WEIGHS
Adding to the gloom was a U.S. regional manufacturing report showing the pace of growth slowed more than expected in April, and data showing U.S. homebuilder sentiment waned for the third month in a row in April.
This comes on the heels of last week's bleak retail sales data and suggests the world's largest economy has lost some steam heading into the second quarter.
In the euro zone, the annual inflation fell to 1.7 percent in March, in line with market expectations but still lower than the European Central Bank's target of close to 2 percent, data from the EU statistics agency showed on Tuesday.
Goldman Sachs, one of the most influential banks in commodity markets, recommended clients close their bets on rising Brent prices, warning the market could continue to fall.
The market was now waiting for weekly oil inventory data from the United States for trading cues.
A preliminary survey of analysts by Reuters forecast U.S. crude stocks rose by 1.4 million barrels for the week ended April 12. (Additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore and Osamu Tsukimori in Tokyo; Editing by Jason Neely)