Oil prices fall in Asia on Chinese data


SINGAPORE – Oil prices fell in Asia on Tuesday, surrendering some of their big gains of a day earlier after data showed manufacturing activity in top energy consumer China contracted in August.

The contraction in the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for China’s factory sector fuelled concerns about the health of the world’s second biggest economy. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October fell $1.40 to $47.80 and Brent crude for October dropped $1.39 to $52.76 barrel in afternoon Asian trade.

WTI had surged 8.8 per cent and Brent advanced 8.2 per cent on Monday as the US government lowered its domestic production estimate and the OPEC cartel said that it was ready to talk to producers about prices, which had fallen last month to their lowest levels in six and a half years. The PMI for China’s key manufacturing sector slumped to a three-year low of 49.7 in August, an official index showed, the latest sign of slowing growth in the country which is a major engine for global economic growth.

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