Oil prices declined today on worries over the outlook for demand, after China released disappointing factory data pointing to slowing momentum.
Brent crude dropped by three cents at $100.36 a barrel, while US oil slipped by ten cents to $91.87, reported Reuters.
In China, the HSBC / Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 49.2 for May, contracting for the first time in seven months due to a reduction in both domestic and external demand.
The official PMI for the non-manufacturing sector dipped to 54.3 in May, which is the lowest since September 2012, while the Chinese Government’s official manufacturing PMI, which was released on Saturday, increased but remained close to 50.
On Friday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which produces a third of the world’s oil, decided to continue with its output target untouched at 30 million barrels per day (bpd) for the rest of 2013.
In a poll, Reuters predicted that Brent will fall in 2013 and further as uncertainty over Chinese growth and a dull European economic outlook reduces demand, while supplies improve.
Image: China’s official PMI for the non-manufacturing sector dipped to 54.3 in May. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.