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02-Mar2019

Crude oil futures end sharply lower on demand concerns

Crude oil futures ended sharply lower on Friday, with losses of around two percent, as worries about demand growth resurfaced after data showed a drop in manufacturing activity in the US and a decline in consumer sentiment. Recent disappointing report on manufacturing activity in China also weighed on oil prices. Data showing a drop in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) output to its lowest in four years failed to support prices. Members of the OPEC pumped 30.68 million barrels a day in February, down 300,000 barrels a day from a month earlier and the lowest since 2015.

Benchmark crude oil futures for April declined $1.42 or 2.5 percent to settle at $55.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. However, May Brent crude fell $1.24 or 1.9 percent to settle at $65.07 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.


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