Oil prices edged down on Monday as a disappointing Chinese economic survey clouded the outlook for demand, although talk is that OPEC-led crude output cuts could be extended continued to offer support.
NYMEX crude for June delivery was down 12 cents at $49.21 a barrel by 0619 GMT. London Brent crude for new front-month delivery in July was down 15 cents at $51.90.
A faster-than-expected slowdown of growth in China’s manufacturing sector in April weighed on prices. An official survey showed on Sunday that producer price inflation cooled and policymakers’ efforts to curtail 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.
The price declines mark the third consecutive week that oil has started with a drop, with high inventories also dragging on markets that have been grappling with a global supply glut for the last few years.
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.
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 US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.