Oil dips in cautious trading ahead of OPEC meeting
SINGAPORE— Oil prices dipped in Asia Wednesday despite official China data showing factory activity expanded in May, as traders treaded cautiously before an OPEC meeting in Vienna this week. Crude prices have rebounded from their January lows of under $ 30 and last week briefly pushed past $ 50 a barrel for the first time this year as the market gained support from production outages in Canada and Nigeria. But prices have since retreated back below the key psychological level, and crude futures remain less than half of their 2014 peaks of over $ 100 amid a stubborn global supply glut.
Official data from China Wednesday showing factory activity expanded for the third straight month in May— a further sign of stabilisation in the world’s second largest economy— has so far not provided a significant boost, an analyst said. The Purchasing Managers’ Index ( PMI), which tracks activities in the country’s factories and workshops, showed a reading of 50.1. Any reading above 50 signals expanding activity. “The upshot is that while policy easing has clearly helped to stabilise growth in China this year, a significant rebound is proving elusive,” economist Julian Evans- Pritchard of Capital Economics wrote in a note.— AFP