Crude oil futures plunged by more than 1 per cent in the domestic market on Friday as investors and speculators exited positions in the energy commodity amid fears of a further boost in US storage levels as American refineries shut down for seasonal maintenance, limiting fuel demand in the world's biggest oil consumer.
Further, a leading US economic index surprisingly fell last month, raising concerns over the health of the world's biggest economy. The Conference Board said that it's leading index for the US economy declined by 0.2 per cent in July from June, when it climbed 0.6 per cent.
Adding to the gloom, a Chinese private manufacturing gauge contracted at the fastest pace since March 2009, coming in at 47.1 in August, with a reading below 50 signaling contraction, stoking more fears over the health of the world's second biggest economy.
At the MCX, Crude oil futures, for the September 2015 contract, is trading at Rs 2,716 per barrel, down by 1.38 per cent, after opening at Rs 2,735, against the previous close price of Rs 2,754. It touched an intraday low of Rs 2,702. (At 11:09 AM).