Brent crude traded below $100 a barrel for the first time in a month and WTI declined as signs of a slowing Chinese economy and OPEC’s decision to maintain production boosted speculation supply will outstrip demand.
Brent was little changed after falling as much as 0.6 percent to $99.75 a barrel. Chinese manufacturing indexes showed small businesses struggling, sapping momentum in the economy of the world’s second-biggest oil user. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries maintained its output ceiling of 30 million barrels a day at a meeting in Vienna on May 31. Crude inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of the commodity, are at the highest since at least 1931.
“We’re in the situation where the market is vulnerable to downside risk because of the supply situation with a well-covered market,” said Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.