LONDON (AFP) – World oil prices retreated Tuesday on profit-taking, after recent gains that were underpinned by positive manufacturing data in China and the United States, analysts said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for December delivery, dipped 75 cents to 77.38 dollars a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for December delivery shed 71 cents to 75.84 dollars per barrel.
Oil had rebounded on Monday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and positive US and Chinese economic data that bolstered hopes of stronger demand in the two biggest energy-consuming nations.
A weak greenback makes dollar-priced crude cheaper for holders of stronger currencies, and therefore tends to lift oil demand and prices.
The market was buoyed on Monday by data showing the expansion of the US manufacturing sector.
The Institute of Supply Management said Monday its factory index, also known as the purchasing managers index, grew for a third consecutive month in October with a reading of 55.7 percent.
It was stronger than market expectations for a reading of 53 percent and the highest rate of growth since April 2006. Any number above 50 indicates growth.
Among the sub-indexes in the survey, the employment index was 53.1 percent, marking a sharp turnaround from last month’s 46.2 percent and suggesting that factories are starting to add jobs.
The US is the world’s biggest energy user and a recovery in its economy is seen as key to lifting global oil demand, which has been hit by the global financial crisis.
In addition, data showed Monday that the HSBC China Manufacturing PMI, or purchasing managers index, rose to an 18-month high of 55.4 in October from 55.0 in September, above the breakeven reading of 50 that indicates expansion.
A separate official Chinese PMI, compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics, showed manufacturing activity rose to 55.2 in October — the highest since May 2008 — from 54.3 in September.