Brent crude drops off multi-month highs on weak China manufacturing data

Brent crude drops off multi-month highs on weak China manufacturing data

oil-well-art-d0e8499fbec07478Brent crude dropped from multi-month highs on Monday amid demand worries from China after a report showing business activity in factories contracted in April at its fastest pace for a year.

A report released earlier on Monday showed China’s PMI manufacturing final reading was downwardly revised to 48.9 last month, the lowest level since April 2014, from the preliminary of 49.2.

Brent crude prices are currently hovering around $66.20 a barrel after hitting a high of $67.07, the highest level this year.

Oil prices were also affected by the rebound of the dollar against a basket of major currencies to 95.52, after hitting a low of 94.47 last week, according to the dollar index.

Brent prices edged up around 21 percent in April to resume its rebound after collapsing to a bottom of $46.39 in January.

For this week, oil prices are likely to fluctuate between key support at $64.65 and key resistance at $67.60.

One of the main reasons behind the recent rally is the ease in oversupply concerns after the drop in number of rigs in the United States.

The number of rig count plunged by 24 last week to 679 active rigs, making the total number of active rigs fall for a record 21 weeks, marking the fewest since September 2010,  Baker Hughes Inc said in a report on Friday.

However, with the recovery in oil prices, the number of rigs will increase gradually, as high-cost crude producers come back again in competition after a series cost cuts in the wake of the 60 percent drop in oil prices from June to March.

Crude oil futures for June delivery slumped to a low of $58.56 on Monday, falling from a peak of $59.71.

Ahmed Mamdouh

Ahmed Mamdouh, Co-Founder and Head of English Fundamental Analysis at, with 7 years of experience in the financial markets. Mamdouh holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from The American University in Cairo and a Bachelor Degree in Economics from The Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University.

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