WTI Crude: futures fell toward $88 per barrel on Tuesday, sliding for the third straight session to near six-month lows, as weak US and Chinese economic data sparked fresh concerns about a potential global downturn that could heavily impact energy demand.
China’s factory and retail activity slowed unexpectedly in July, prompting the central bank to cut key lending rates to shore up demand. In the US, the New York Empire State Manufacturing Index posted its second largest monthly decline ever in August.
The prospect for increased Iranian oil exports also weighed on prices as Iran responded to the EU’s proposal for reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, calling on the US to show a “realistic approach and flexibility” to resolve three remaining issues.
Elsewhere, Saudi Aramco head Amin Nasser said Sunday that the state-owned firm stands ready to raise crude output to its maximum capacity of 12 million barrels a day if the Saudi Arabian government orders it to do so.