Investing.com

Investing.com - Crude oil prices dipped in Asia on Thursday ahead of key data on China''s manufacturing sector.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in July traded at $103.78 a barrel, down 0.28%, after hitting an overnight session low of $102.58 a barrel and a high of $104.27 a barrel.



Brent crude futures on the ICE Futures Europe exchange rose 86 cents to $110.55 a barrel.



China''s HSBC May flash manufacturing PMI is due at 0945 local time (0145 GMT) with expectations of a stable figure from last month. The final April reading came in at 48.1, suggesting that conditions deteriorated from the flash 48.3 released a week earlier as the economy slowed further.



Overnight, crude got a bounce higher after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week ending May 16, far surpassing expectations for a build of 750,000 barrels.



Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 391.3 million barrels as of last week.



The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.0 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a gain of 0.1 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles rose by 3.4 million barrels, compared to expectations for a drop of 0.4 million barrels.



Ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine remained in focus, amid concerns over a disruption to supplies from the region.



Ukraine will hold presidential elections on Sunday, and concerns persist that Russia will meddle in the voting and escalate the crisis. U.S. and European officials have already warned that Russia would face additional sanctions if Moscow disrupts the upcoming elections, including sanctions targeting the Russian economy.



Russia produced 10.4 million barrels of oil per day in 2012 and exported 7.4 million, making it the world’s second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.



Meanwhile, renewed concerns over Libya''s oil output further supported prices, following some of the worst violence the country has seen since the 2011 war against Muammar Qaddafi.



Libya, an OPEC member, is home to Africa’s largest oil reserves, but production there has faltered in the three years following the topple of former leader Qaddafi due to political instability and attacks on oil assets.







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