Crude oil price drops below $95 on Chinese and U.S. data

Early on Thursday, crude oil futures prices declined due to a modest expansion in the Chinese PMI (purchasing managers’ index). The information about the state of the U.S. market for crude oil also had an impact on futures pricing. On Thursday morning, October crude oil futures on WTI were trading at $89.25, down 0.34 percent, and November crude oil futures were trading at $95.32, down 0.33 percent.

On the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), the September crude oil futures were trading at $7,117 in the early going compared to the previous close of $7,197, down 1.11 percent; the October futures were trading at $7,105 compared to the previous close of $7,173, down 0.95 percent.

In China, data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that the Chinese PMI increased to 49.4 in August from 49.0 in July. Though there was a slight increase, it was below the 50-point mark, indicating continued weakness. Meanwhile, the petroleum status report of the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) for the week ending August 26, showed a decline in the U.S. commercial crude oil inventories by 3.3 million barrels from the last week. At 418.3 million barrels, the U.S. crude oil inventories are about 6% below the five-year average for this time of year.

According to some media reports, the members of the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) members and its allies, known as OPEC+, are further starting discussions on the potential production output cut. It may be noted here that some OPEC+ members, including the major producer Saudi Arabia, has expressed their intention to cut crude oil output to stop decreasing prices.

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