Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: August 24 - 28
Investing.com - Crude oil futures tumbled to levels not seen since March 2009 on Friday, as gloomy manufacturing data from China added to concerns over slowing global growth and weak demand prospects.
Data on Friday showed that manufacturing activity in China contracted at the fastest rate in six-and-a-half years in August, exacerbating fears over a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
The preliminary reading of the Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at 47.1, down from July's final reading of 47.8. It was the lowest reading since March 2009.
China is the world's second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand. Manufacturing numbers are often used as indicators for fuel demand growth.
On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent for October delivery fell to a session low of $45.07 a barrel, the weakest level since March 2009, before closing at $45.46, down $1.16, or 2.49% for the day.
On the week, London-traded Brent futures lost $3.30, or 7.58%, the eighth straight weekly decline, as ongoing concerns over a glut in world markets continued to drive down prices.
Global oil production is outpacing demand following a boom in U.S. shale oil production and after a decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last year not to cut production.
Elsewhere, West Texas Intermediate oil futures sank below the $40-level for the first time in more than six years amid indications that U.S. drilling activity could rebound in the months ahead and add to a supply glut.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in October hit an intraday low of $39.86 a barrel, the weakest since March 2009, before ending at $40.45, down 87 cents, or 2.11%.
Industry research group Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. increased by two last week to 674, the fifth straight weekly gain.
For the week, New York-traded oil futures plunged $2.39, or 6.17%, the tenth consecutive weekly loss, as worries over high domestic U.S. oil production weighed.
Meanwhile, the spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $5.01 a barrel by close of trade on Friday.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking ahead to Wednesday's data on U.S. durable goods orders for a fresh reading on the strength of the economy.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, August 24
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart is to speak; his comments will be closely watched.
Tuesday, August 25
In the euro zone, the Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.
The U.S. is to release private sector data on consumer confidence and a report on new home sales, while the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on oil supplies.
Wednesday, August 26
The U.S. is to release data on durable goods orders as well as a weekly report on crude oil inventories.
Thursday, August 27
The U.S. is to release revised data on second quarter economic growth, as well as the weekly report on initial jobless claims and pending home sales.
Friday, August 28
In the euro zone, Germany and Spain are to publish preliminary data on consumer price inflation.
The U.K. is to release revised data on second quarter economic growth.
The U.S. is to round up the week with data on the goods trade balance, personal income and spending and revised data on consumer sentiment.
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