Crude down in Asia on profit-taking

SINGAPORE: Crude prices fell in Asia Monday as traders pulled back following a massive rally at the end of last week spurred by a eurozone deal, and after weak manufacturing data from China, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, fell $1.03 to $83.93 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August shed $1.23 to $96.57.

The fall in crude was unsurprising after markets rocketed more than $7.00 on Friday, said Victor Shum, senior principal of Purvin and Gertz energy consultants in Singapore.

“That’s not surprising after the gain last Friday,” he told.

“The pullback is also supported by some of the latest data out of China showing the purchasing managers index falling in June,” Shum added.

Crude prices had surged on Friday as eurozone leaders inked a 120-billion-euro ($150-billion) economic stimulus pact and agreed on substantial new measures to support banks and governments in the troubled region.

But traders were cashing out of the market after the rally as data showed China’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slumping last month despite government efforts to arrest a slowdown in the world’s largest energy consumer.

The official PMI slipped to 50.2 in June from 50.4 in May, industry group the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said in a statement issued Sunday.

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