“The market is still concerned about the economic situation and the U.S. jobless report doesn’t look good,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts.
Futures also slipped on reports of economic weakness in Europe and Asia. London-based Markit Economics’ index of euro- area services and manufacturing declined to a 39-month low in September.
Manufacturing in China, the world’s fastest-growing energy consuming country, may contract for an 11th month, according to the purchasing managers index by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit. In Japan, exports fell 5.8 percent in August from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said.
The U.S., China and Japan accounted for about 37 percent of the world’s oil consumption last year, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy.
The oil market is sufficiently supplied and more crude is coming from Saudi Arabia, Canada and the U.S., Maria van der Hoeven, International Energy Agency’s executive director, said in Madrid. Last month, the Group of Seven nations said emergency stockpiles such as the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve may need to be tapped to curb prices.
“The IEA comment takes away the threat of an SPR release, and that’s kind of positive,” said Tom Pawlicki, director of market research at Chicago-based EOXLive and previously an analyst at MF Global.
Electronic trading volume on the Nymex was 436,906 contracts as of 2:43 p.m. Volume totaled 807,916 contracts yesterday, 49 percent above the three-month average. Open interest was 1.59 million.