Monday, February 01, 2016
Free Crude Tips for Today
Oil prices dropped early on Monday after China and South Korea posted surprisingly weak economic data and on worries the prospect of a coordinated production cut by leading crude exporters seemed remote.
Front-month Brent crude was trading at USD 35.54 per barrel at 0157 GMT, down 45 cents, or 1.25 percent, from the last close. US West Texas Intermediate was down 35 cents at USD 33.27 a barrel.
Activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted at its fastest pace in almost three-and-a-half years in January, missing market expectations. The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 49.4 in January, compared with the previous month's reading of 49.7 and below the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
It is the weakest index reading since August 2012, and analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a reading of 49.6. In South Korea, exports posted an 18.5 percent year-on-year drop to USD 36.7 billion, down to levels last seen at the height of the global financial crisis in 2009.
The data from China and South Korea are the latest indicators of an accelerating slowdown in Asia's biggest economies. At the same time, the prospects of a coordinated cut in production by leading exporters like the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia seem difficult to realise due to differences between these producers.