Current Oil Price Steady with Slowdown in U.S. Manufacturing

The current oil price is steady following new data showing a slowdown in the manufacturing activity of the United States for the month of March.

On the NYMEX, the U.S. benchmark for delivery in May was 3 cents higher at a crude price per barrel of $97.10. The contract shed 16 cents to settle at $97.07 per barrel during the previous trading day.

Purchasing interest was weakened by a report that showed weaker than anticipated manufacturing growth in the United States. According to the Institute for Supply Management, its factory activity index fell in March to 51.3 percent from February’s 54.2 percent. A reading over 50 signifies expansion.

The report added to declines in the stock markets in Asia, giving a negative signal for trading in the crude market. However, several of the losses were overturned in the latter parts of the trading day as European stock markets started higher.

Analysts at Singapore’s DBS Bank Ltd. said that the manufacturing data serves as a reminder that growth in the biggest economy of the world is still below average and it is an engine that is being depended upon to help push the recovery of the global economy.

On London’s ICE Futures Exchange, Brent was $1.14 higher at $111.36 per barrel.

In other NYMEX trading, the price of wholesale gasoline shed 0.5 cent to $3.097 per gallon. The cost of heating oil moved 2.7 cents higher to $3.096 per gallon. And the price of natural gas was almost the same, at $4.013 per thousand cubic feet.

By: Chris Termeer