SINGAPORE: Crude oil prices reversed course after an early bounce on Tuesday, as concerns over coronavirus curbs combined with slowing factory activity in key markets weighed on sentiment.
Brent crude oil futures shed 5 cents, or 0.1%,to $72.84 a barrel, as of 0309 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 8 cents, or 0.1%, at $71.18 a barrel, report agencies.
ANZ analysts in a note highlighted resurgent economic risks to major oil consumer China from the coronavirus pandemic. “Cases of the highly contagious Delta variant have emerged in 14 of 32 provinces. This could see further mobility restrictions introduced,” ANZ analysts wrote.
They also flagged slowing manufacturing activity as a key concern, to both China and the United States.
“China’s economic activity continued to ease in July, with the official Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index falling to 50.4 from 50.9 in June,” ANZ said.
“Manufacturing activity also slowed in the U.S., with the ISM index falling to 59.5” - the lowest reading since January - from 60.6 in June.