Crude oil futures traded marginally higher on Thursday morning as China’s manufacturing activity contracted less than the market expectations in August. In the US, there was a huge decline in the crude oil inventories for the week ending August 25. China and US are the major consumers of crude oil.

At 9.51 a.m. on Thursday, November Brent oil futures were at $85.27, up by 0.04 per cent, and October crude oil futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) were at $81.67, up by 0.05 per cent.

September crude oil futures were trading at ₹6,748 on Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) during initial trading against the previous close of ₹6735, up by 0.19 per cent, and October futures were trading at ₹6,728 as against the previous close of ₹6,720, up by 0.12 per cent.

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Tad above expectations

Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) at 49.7 in August. This reading was more than the market expectations. The market was expecting it to be at 49.5. China’s manufacturing PMI was at 49.3 in July.

Market reports noted that the recent stimulus measures announced by the Chinese authorities seem to have helped boost the economic growth in that country.

China is one of the major consumers of crude oil in the global market. A revival in the economic activities in that country will help boost the demand for the commodity.

3% below 5-year average

Meanwhile, the petroleum status report by the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) for the week ending August 25, which was released on August 30, showed that the US commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the strategic petroleum reserve) decreased by 10.6 million barrels from the previous week. At 422.9 million barrels, US crude oil inventories were about 3 per cent below the five-year average for this time of year.

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Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 21.2 million barrels a day, up by 6.1 per cent from the same period last year. US crude oil imports averaged 6.6 million barrels a day last week, a decline of 316,000 barrels a day from the previous week.

Guar, jeera gain

September natural gas futures were trading at ₹230.70 on MCX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹228.50, up by 0.96 per cent.

On NCDEX, guar gum October futures gained ₹93 at ₹13,150 a quintal. Guarseed October contracts increased by ₹23 to ₹6,362 a quintal. Jeera (cumin) October contracts were up ₹784 at ₹55,425 a quintal.

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