* U.S. retail sales, consumer sentiment drop
* Brent crude price drops to lowest since July
* Coming up: CFTC positions data 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday (Rewrites, adding updated prices, market activity; changes byline and dateline, pvs LONDON)
By Robert Gibbons
NEW YORK, April 12 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices tumbled, with Brent sliding to a nine-month low, after data showing contracting U.S. retail sales in March and weaker consumer sentiment reinforced the dimmer outlook for demand for petroleum.
Friday's weak data from the United States followed forecasts for lower global oil demand growth for 2013 released this week by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
World equities prices also were sent into retreat by the weaker U.S. data,
"The retail sales data and weakening consumer sentiment on the heels of news Cyprus needs more money, caps a week of news pointing to weaker economic growth and less demand for oil," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
Brent May crude fell $2.55 to $101.74 a barrel at 11:37 a.m. EDT (1537 GMT), having fallen more than $3 to $101.09 during the session, the lowest price since July.
U.S. May crude was down $2.80 at $90.71 a barrel, having pushed below the 100- and 200-day moving averages.
Both crude contracts were on track to post week-on-week losses of more than 2 percent.
U.S. May RBOB gasoline and heating oil futures also fell sharply on the prospects for lowered demand.
WEAK U.S. ECONOMIC DATA
Oil's price slide was hastened after reports showed U.S. retail sales contracted in March for the second time in three months and consumer confidence weakened in April, pointing to slowing momentum in the economic growth in the world's biggest oil consuming nation.
Cyprus said on Friday that an increase in the cost of its total bailout package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to 23 billion euros, 5.5 billion more euros than it had initially projected in November, would not lead to additional demands on bank depositors.
The problems in Cyprus have added to concerns about the euro zone economy.
Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, with Syria's civil war continuing and no resolution in sight of Iran's dispute over its controversial nuclear program, remain a focus for oil investors.
Also demanding investors' attention are developments in Asia, after a U.S. government agency said North Korea has a nuclear weapon it can mount on a missile, adding an ominous dimension to threats of war by Pyongyang, but the assessment was swiftly dismissed by several U.S. officials and South Korea. (Additional reporting by Peg Mackey in London and Manash Gaswami in Singapore; editing by Gunna Dickson)