Reports of a slowdown in US manufacturing has raised worries that fuel demand will slow. This information ahs pulled down crude oil prices for the third consecutive day to US$76.4 a barrel.
Oil prices trimmed earlier gains made after a rally in US equities. Manufacturing in New York and Pennsylvania dropped, part of a nationwide decline in factory production of 0.4% in June. Growth was also reported to have slowed in China to 10.3% in Q2. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that its general economic index fell to 5.1 in July from 19.6 the prior month.
Crude oil prices are expected to fall next week after government reports signaled lowdown in US economic recovery, negatively impacting fuel demand.