NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices fell sharply on Thursday as a slew of downbeat data and lingering concerns over global trade added fears of economic slowdown, which would potentially weaken energy demand.
The West Texas Intermediate for September delivery dipped 4.63 U.S. dollars to settle at 53.95 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery slid 4.55 dollars to close at 60.50 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
The J.P.Morgan global manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) dropped to 49.3 in July, signaling contraction for the third straight month and fell to its lowest level since October 2012, according to its latest report released on Thursday.
"July PMI data signal that the global manufacturing sector remained on a weak footing at the start of the third quarter. The PMI implies no growth in global manufacturing output with the deteriorating trend in international trade flows weighing particularly heavily on performance," said Olya Borichevska, researcher at J.P.Morgan.
The report is compiled by IHS Markit based on the results of surveys covering over 13,500 purchasing executives in over 40 countries.
A separate report released by the Institute for Supply Management showed that U.S. manufacturing PMI came lower-than-expected in July.
The soft data coupled with prolonged trade worries reignited concerns over weakening demand for oil, experts noted. Enditem