Oil held below $54 a barrel in New York as weak Chinese manufacturing data and persistent uncertainty over U.S.-China trade talks stoked concerns that slowing growth could hurt demand.
West Texas Intermediate futures were steady after rising 18 percent last month. A Chinese factory purchasing managers index for January fell to the lowest level in almost three years, showing the damage the trade war is doing to Asia’s largest economy. The White House said progress had been made in talks, though didn’t detail any new commitments from either side.
Oil is stuck below $55 a barrel even as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies cut production in an effort to bolster prices that sank almost 40 percent last quarter. Gains over the past month have been capped by continued uncertainty over whether the U.S. and China can tamp down their trade conflict.
WTI crude for March delivery slipped 3 cents to $53.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:33 a.m. London time. It dropped 44 cents to $53.79 on Thursday.
Brent for April settlement rose 1 cent to $60.85 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a $6.85 premium to WTI for the same month. The March contract expired Thursday after climbing 24 cents to $61.89.
Source : Bloomberg