Oil prices declined today over expectations about the global economy and excess supply, while investors anticipate the start of the summer driving season in the US will boost prices.

Brent crude slipped by eight cents at $102.54 per barrel, while US crude plunged by 59 cents to $93.56, reported Reuters.

Oil prices were affected by reduced factory activity in China and a stockpile in US gasoline inventories.

Investors, however, are of the opinion that the beginning of the US summer driving season is likely to reduce some of the country’s gasoline inventory.

A preliminary data showed that US factory activity slipped to a seven-month low this month.

Oil markets are now waiting for traders in Europe and the US to return after a holiday weekend to get a better understanding of the demand.

Investors will also wait for China’s final PMI numbers, which is also expected to shed light on the health of the global economy.

On the other hand, traders will keep a close watch on a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Friday, although the producer cartel is not likely to modify its output target.

Image: Contractions in Chinese factory activity and stockpiled US gasoline inventories have pulled down oil prices. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.