Crude oil prices extend losses, fall as stimulus hopes fade and weak China data

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Crude oil prices extended losses, falling for the fourth day on Wednesday as a result of heavy selling activity on rumors that the Federal Reserve may not offer further measures to stimulate the U.S. economy when a policy meeting ends today. At the MCX, crude oil futures for August 2012 contract were trading at Rs. 4,903 per barrel, down by 0.37 per cent, after opening at Rs. 4,910 against the previous closing price of Rs. 4,921. It touched the intra-day low of Rs. 4,892 till the trading. (At 11.18 AM today).

Sentiment weakened further on speculation that the European Central Bank may not offer outright measures to tackle the debt crisis at its policy meeting on Thursday which reduced demand outlook of the commodity.

Moreover, prices also fell as China's official factory purchasing managers' index fell to an eight-month low of 50.1 in July from 50.2 in June, suggesting the sector is barely growing in turn weakening demand prospects for the fuel

However, losses were limited as the American Petroleum Institute showed that crude oil stocks fell by a huge 11.605 million barrels in the week indicating that demand for the commodity in US, world's largest consumer is strong.

Story first published: Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 13:30 [IST]
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