Crude oil down a tad as Chinese data disappoints market

Crude oil futures were marginally down on Thursday morning as China’s manufacturing and service sector data disappointed the market.

At 10.03 am on Thursday, February Brent oil futures were at $86.77, down by 0.23 per cent, and January crude oil futures on WTI were at $80.40, down by 0.19 per cent.

December crude oil futures were trading at ₹6,542 on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) during initial hours of trading against the previous close of ₹6,571, down by 0.44 per cent; January futures were trading at ₹6,571 against the previous close of ₹6596, down by 0.38 per cent.

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday showed the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) at 48 for November against 49.2 in the previous month. Services PMI fell to 46.7 in November from 48.7 in October.

Awaiting OPEC+ meet

Economic activities have taken a hit in China following the outbreak of Covid in the past few months and the strict measures to control the spread. Any impact on economic activities in China — a major consumer of crude oil — impacts the demand for the commodity in the global market.

While the market is waiting for the meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, on December 4 to announce a further production cut, a Reuters report citing a source said that the virtual meeting of the OPEC+ indicated little likelihood of a policy change.

However, there was a decline in crude oil inventories in the US, a major crude oil consumer.

The petroleum status report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) for the week ending November 25, which was released on November 30, showed a huge decline in crude oil inventories.

US commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the strategic petroleum reserve) decreased by 12.6 million barrels from the previous week. At 419.1 million barrels, US crude oil inventories were about 8 per cent below the five-year average for this time of year.

US crude oil imports averaged 6 million barrels a day last week, which is a decrease by 1 million barrels a day from the previous week. Over the past four weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 6.3 million barrels a day, 0.9 per cent less than the same four-week period last year.

Cotton blooms, guar gum slumps

December cotton futures were trading at ₹31,830 on MCX in the initial trading hour of Thursday against the previous close of ₹31,610, up by 0.70 per cent.

On the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), December jeera contracts were trading at ₹25,110 during initial hour of trading against the previous close of ₹24,690, up by 1.70 per cent.

December guar gum futures were trading at ₹12,714 on NCDEX against the previous close of ₹12,910, down by 1.52 per cent.

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