U.S. crude-oil futures declined Monday, stretching last week’s losses which came in part on worries about slowing growth in China.
Crude for July delivery fell 61 cents, or 0.7%, to $93.54 a barrel in electronic trade.
Floor trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange was slated to resume Tuesday, following Monday’s U.S. Memorial Day holiday.
Oil futures in Nymex action on Friday recorded their fourth consecutive loss.
Oil prices fell 2% last week, during which they were “weighed by a weak oil-demand outlook after China’s disappointing [manufacturing index] reading … sparked concerns of slowing growth in the world’s second-largest fuel consumer,” ICICI analysts led by Pooja Sriram said on Friday.
China’s manufacturing activity swung to a contraction in May after months of slowing growth, according to preliminary survey results from HSBC on Thursday. The “flash” version of its Purchasing Managers’ Index for May fell to a seven-month low of 49.6, down from April’s final reading of 50.4. A result below 50 signals contraction.
Signs of weaker domestic and external demand in China added to concerns among investors about already-high inventories of U.S. crude oil. Last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said supply of the commodity fell much less than expected.
Brent crude oil for July delivery was also lower in electronic trade Monday, down 18 cents, or 0.2%, at $102.46, adding to last week’s fall of about 2%.
Natural gas for June delivery shed 2 cents, or 0.6%, to $4.21 per million British thermal units.
June gasoline lost 2 cents, or 0.5%, to trade at $2.82 a gallon, and June heating oil was down 1 cent at $2.85 a gallon.