Crude Oil futures slumped in the domestic market on Thursday as weak manufacturing data from the US and China signaled a deepening economic slowdown in the world's two biggest crude oil consuming nations, dimming the demand outlook for the fuel. US manufacturing activity expanded at the weakest pace in seven months while China's manufacturing shank for the first time in seven months in May 2013.
US manufacturing index fell to 51.9 this month from 52.1 in April 2013, with a reading above 50 signaling expansion, Markit said. A surge in US fuel stockpiles against soft demand may exert further downward pressure on crude oil prices in the near-term. A contraction in Euro area manufacturing and services activity this month signaled a gloomy demand outlook for the fuel.
However, robust US jobless claims data which signaled a pickup in the nation's labour market recovery, trimmed some of the losses in the fuel. US jobless claims fell 23,000 to 340,000 last week, the Labour Department said.
At the MCX, Crude Oil futures, for the June 2013 contract, closed at Rs 5,215 per barrel, down by 1.55 per cent, after opening at Rs 5,290, against a previous close of Rs 5,297. It touched an intra-day low of Rs 5,167.