Investing.com - U.S. oil futures fell to a one-month low on Thursday, following the release of disappointing data on China’s manufacturing sector and as investors fretted over domestic supply levels in the U.S.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in June fell to a daily low of $99.22 a barrel, the weakest level since April 3.
Nymex oil last traded at $99.24 a barrel during European morning hours, down 0.5%, or 50 cents a barrel. Prices lost 1.52%, or $1.54, on Wednesday to settle at $99.74.
Futures were likely to find support at $99.07 a barrel, the low from April 3 and resistance at $100.76 a barrel, the high from April 30.
Data released earlier showed that China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index inched up to 50.4 in April, just below an expectation of 50.5, and higher than the 50.3 reported last month.
The Asian nation is the world''s second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand.
Meanwhile, investors remained concerned over record-high U.S. crude supply levels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report Wednesday that crude oil inventories rose by 3.52 million barrels last week to hit an all-time high of 399.4 million barrels.
Market players now looked ahead to a series of key economic events later in the day for further indications on the strength of the U.S. economy and the future course of monetary policy.
The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims, while the Institute of Supply Management is to release a report on manufacturing activity.
Data released Wednesday showed that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 0.1% in the first three months of the year, well below forecasts for an expansion of 1.2%.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would reduce its bond purchases by $10 billion to a total of $45 billion a month, in a widely expected decision.
The U.S. central bank acknowledged that first quarter growth was far weaker than expected, but added that momentum had started to pick up in recent weeks.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for June delivery fell 0.69%, or 74 cents, to trade at $107.33 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at $8.09 a barrel.