oil

Oil prices continued to decline today as investors showed concerns about growth outlook in the US and China, while US oil stocks increased by more than predicted.

Brent crude plunged by 94 cents to $101.43 a barrel, while US oil declined by 43 cents to $93.04 a barrel, reported Reuters.

The crude benchmark slipped more than seven percent during April, its biggest monthly decline in 11 months.

On Wednesday, China released its official purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which dropped to 50.6 in April from an 11-month high in March of 50.9, while analysts had predicted the April PMI would be 51.0.

Data showed that US Midwest business activity slowed down in April, while unemployment reached a record high in Europe.

In the US, the Federal Reserve, which will conclude a two-day meeting on Wednesday, is anticipated to maintain its monthly purchases of $85bn in bonds to support an economic recovery.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has released its data, which has showed that US crude stocks jumped by 5.2 million barrels, which is higher than the forecasted one million barrel increase.

"Data showed that US Midwest business activity slowed down in April, while unemployment reached a record high in Europe."

A survey conducted by Reuters has revealed that more oil will be supplied to the market.

The survey also showed that supply in April from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will average 30.46 million barrels per day (bpd), marking an increase from 30.18 million bpd in March.

According to the poll, OPEC’s crude oil production recovered from its lowest monthly level in more than a year because of export disruptions in Iraq and Libya and an increase in Iranian sales.

Investors will now keep a close watch on the weekly inventory report from the US Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), which is expected to be released on Wednesday.


Image: The crude benchmark dropped by more than seven percent in April. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos / Salvatore Vuono.

Energy