Oil prices slumped on Monday driven by bearish economic data from China amid rising output of OPEC+ countries.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $74.54 per barrel at 06.32 GMT for a 1.15% loss after closing Friday at $75.41 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $73.19 a barrel at the same time with a 1.03% decrease after ending the previous session at $73.95 per barrel.
The negative economic data from China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, stoked demand concerns as the country is battling a new COVID-19 outbreak.
China’s manufacturing activity growth in July fell below expectations with the Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) dropping to 50.4 from June’s 50.9 and relative to the market expectation of 50.8. This was the slowest pace since February 2020, the month before the start of the coronavirus pandemic when it came in at 35.7, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Saturday.
Manufacturing PMI measures the activity level in the manufacturing sector, which can be a leading indicator of its overall performance. A reading above 50 shows expansion in the sector and below 50 indicates contraction.
China is also struggling with a new COVID-19 outbreak of the Delta variant in Nanjing, the capital of the Jiangsu province and the second-largest city in eastern China.
Meanwhile, oil supply from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) has increased from the beginning of August in line with the group’s decision in July.
The group had agreed to raise output by 400,000 barrels per day from August to December and extended its production cut agreement from April 2022 to December 2022.
By Sibel Morrow