Oil dips as factory output slows
Crude prices fall as coronavirus curbs weigh on sentiment
Singapore — Crude oil prices reversed course after an early bounce on Tuesday, as concerns over coronavirus curbs combined with slowing factory activity in key markets weighed on sentiment.
Brent crude oil futures shed 5c, or 0.1%, to $72.84 a barrel, by 3.09am GMT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 8c, or 0.1%, at $71.18 a barrel. Both markets dropped more than 3% on Monday.
ANZ analysts in a note highlighted resurgent economic risks to major oil consumer China from the coronavirus pandemic. “Cases of the highly contagious Delta variant have emerged in 14 of 32 provinces. This could see further mobility restrictions introduced,” ANZ analysts wrote.
They also flagged slowing manufacturing activity as a concern to both China and the US.
“China’s economic activity continued to ease in July, with the official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index falling to 50.4 from 50.9 in June,” ANZ said. “Manufacturing activity also slowed in the US, with the ISM index falling to 59.5" — the lowest reading since January — from 60.6 in June.
Meanwhile, Iran will respond promptly to any threat against its security, the foreign ministry said on Monday, after the US, Israel and Britain blamed Tehran for an attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off the coast of Oman.
Elsewhere, US crude and product inventories were likely to have declined last week with both distillates and petrol stockpiles predicted to have fallen for a third straight week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.
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