West Texas Intermediate futures for December delivery fell to $46.40 (-0.41%), while Brent crude is currently at $49.62 ( 0.06%). Oil prices weakened after a report on Chinese manufacturing showed that economic activity contracted in the sector in October although it still posted the best result in four months. The Markit/Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 48.3 in October compared to expectations for a 47.5 reading and 47.2 reported previously. China is the second-biggest oil consumer in the world, that's why weak manufacturing activity in this country suggests that it will not boost demand and global markets will remain oversupplied.
Barclays said that China's oil demand growth, adjusted for inventories, slowed to 226,500 barrels per day, or 2.1%, in September compared with the same month last year, much lower than the 6.3% gain recorded for the first three quarters of the year.
"Fundamentals suggest moderate demand ahead, in our view," the bank said.