Investing.com - Crude oil prices were flat to slightly weaker in Asia on Tuesday ahead of industry data on U.S. stocks and bearish sentiment on China demand.
Last week, crude stocks gained by 3 million barrels , according to the American Petroleum Institute.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in June traded at $99.46 a barrel, down 0.03%, after hitting an overnight session low of $98.97 a barrel and a high of $100.43 a barrel.
The ICE Brent oil futures contract fell 87 cents, or 0.8%, to $107.72 a barrel, the lowest settlement since April 11, on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
A final reading of China’s HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers’ index came in at 48.1 April, down from a preliminary estimate of 48.3 and missing forecasts for an uptick to 48.4. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction, which pushed oil prices lower on Monday.
Investors were paying close attention to events unfolding in Ukraine, after conflict between the government and pro-Russian separatists grew more widespread over the weekend.
Fears that shipments from Russia, the world''s second-largest exporter, will suffer gave oil some cushion in afternoon trading as did residual applause from Friday''s upbeat U.S. jobs report.
The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, well above expectations for jobs growth of 210,000, while the unemployment rate dropped to a five-and-a-half year low of 6.3%.
Also supporting oil was an upbeat report on the U.S. service sector released earlier Monday.
In a report, the Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing managers'' index rose to a five-month high of 55.2 in April, from a reading of 53.1 in March, compared to expectations for a rise to 54.1.
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