Crude declined for the first time in four days as a measure of manufacturing activity signaled contraction for a third straight month in China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer.
Futures retreated as much as 0.8 percent in New York after advancing 4.5 percent last week. China’s official purchasing managers index remained at 49.8 in October, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday, compared with an estimate of 50, the line between expansion and contraction. Iran will officially inform other OPEC members of its plans to raise crude production at the group’s Dec. 4 meeting, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in an interview with the Mehr news agency.
Oil failed to sustain a rally above $50 a barrel in October amid signs a global glut will be prolonged as rising U.S. stockpiles keep supplies more than 100 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries continues to pump crude at a faster pace than the limit the group has set for itself, with production near the highest level since 2008. China stepped up monetary easing with its sixth interest-rate cut in a year last month amid a slowing economy.
West Texas Intermediate for December delivery lost as much as 38 cents to $46.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $46.21 at 8:02 a.m. Singapore time. The contract gained 53 cents to $46.59 on Friday, the highest close since Oct. 16. The volume of all futures traded was about 54 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have decreased 13 percent this year.
Brent for December settlement slid 18 cents to $49.38 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices rose 3.3 percent last week. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $3.13 to WTI.