Oil prices edged lower on Monday, undermined by a weak manufacturers survey out of China, and despite talk that OPEC-led crude oil output cuts could be extended when oil priducers meet later this month.
NYMEX crude for June delivery was down 10 cents at $49.23 a barrel by 0204 GMT.
London Brent crude for new front-month delivery in July was down 13 cents at $51.92.
Also weighing on prices was a faster than expected slowdown of growth in China’s manufacturing sector in April. An official survey showed on Sunday that producer price inflation cooled and policymakers’ efforts to curtain financial risks in the economy weighed on demand.
“The moderation in the China PMI could see commodity prices come under some modest pressure,” ANZ said in a note.
It was the third consecutive week that the oil price has started lower. Inventories remain high, and the market remains stuck in the rut that it fell in to 2014 when a global glut fully emerged.
Iran’s oil minister said on Saturday that OPEC and non-OPEC countries had given positive signals for an extension of output cuts, which Tehran would also back.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)meets this month to discuss oil supply policy.
If OPEC agrees to extend the cuts, then bloated global inventories could drain by the end of the year, a Reuters poll of economists and analysts showed.
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Saturday there was consensus with Central Asia over oil markets and production levels..
Money managers cut their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions for the first time in four weeks in the week to April 25, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday stepped up contacts with allies in Asia to secure their cooperation to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.
Trump’s calls to the two Asian leaders came after North Korea test-launched another missile that Washington and Seoul said was unsuccessful but which drew widespread international condemnation.