Oil edged down on weak economic data

10:53, July 02, 2011      

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Crude prices edged down on Friday as U.S. and China's economic data came in weak, hurting the oil demand expectation.

U.S. consumer confidence worsened in June, adding evidence to a looming economic situation in the biggest oil consumption country. The Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan index showed the consumer sentiment fell to 71.5 from 74.3 in May, below market's estimation of 72.

The results indicated high unemployment and high gas and food costs continued to drag down consumer spirits, which would dampen the already steam-losing economic growth.

Meanwhile, China's manufacturing sector expanded at its slowest pace in 28 months in June. According to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, the Purchasing Managers Index fell to 50. 9 from 52 in May, below analysts' expectation. It was the third consecutive month of PMI decline. Tightening monetary policy and falling oversee demand were the main causes.

And before the long Independence Day weekend, investors chose to book profits, also posing pressure to crude prices.

But oil losses got pared after the Institute for Supply Management said U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 55.3 in June from 53.5 in May, which marked the 23rd consecutive month of expansion.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery fell 48 cents, or 0.5 percent to settle at 94.94 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For this week, it rose 3.78 dollars or 4.15 percent.

In London, Brent crude for August delivery slipped 71 cents, or 0.63 percent to close at 111.77 dollars a barrel. For this week, it surged 6.65 dollars or 6.33 percent.

Source: Xinhua

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