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Oil weaker on global growth concerns

Oil weaker on global growth concerns
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First Published: Tue, Aug 02 2011. 03 08 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Aug 02 2011. 03 08 PM IST
London: Oil fell on Tuesday on continued worries about the growth prospects of the United States, the world’s largest crude consumer, after weak global manufacturing data that overshadowed a deal to avert a US debt default.
Brent fell by 55 cents to $116.26 a barrel by 2:50pm, having slipped as low as $115.53 a barrel earlier in the session.
US crude was 77 cents lower at $94.12 after trading as low as $93.42 on Monday, its lowest since late June, on news that the world’s manufacturing expanded at its weakest pace in two years last month.
In Washington, the focus now turns to the Senate, where the $2.1 trillion deficit-cutting plan is expected to be approved in a vote on Tuesday, the deadline to lift the nation’s debt limit.
But analysts said that market sentiment is likely to remain negative after the last two disappointing manufacturing and GDP data readings.
“Debt concerns about the US default are gone but now we have growth concerns coming back after the very disappointing GDP report on Friday and yesterday’s ISM numbers, which were pretty dismal,” Commerzbank’s Carsten Fritsch said.
“This is weighing on general sentiment and on crude in particular since the US is the largest oil consumer,” adding: “the stronger dollar also doesn’t help today.”
The dollar index against a basket of major currencies rose by 0.39% by 0844 GMT.
“The market is going to be thinking about the fundamental side of the economy, as well as what is going on in Washington, so it should be volatile” in coming days, said Jeremy Friesen, commodity strategist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong.
Earlier, US crude rebounded from a one-month low after the House passed the budget deal, inspiring fleeting optimism to markets battered by the disappointing economic data.
The US Institute for Supply Management manufacturing report, a gauge of factory activity in the world’s largest economy, fell to 50.9 in July, its lowest since July 2009 data showed Monday.
Rising stockpiles
US crude oil inventories probably rose by 1.2 million barrels last week as increased supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve offset losses due to Tropical Storm Don, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.
Gasoline stockpiles were projected unchanged for the week, the poll showed, while distillate stocks were expected to have risen 1.5 million barrels.
Industry data on inventories from the American Petroleum Institute (API) will be published on Tuesday, followed by government statistics from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
In other markets, Asian and European shares fell on Tuesday on concerns about the health of the global economy, while a strengthening yen prompted speculation that Tokyo may intervene in the markets to curb the currency’s value.
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First Published: Tue, Aug 02 2011. 03 08 PM IST
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