BANGKOK (AP) — Weak China manufacturing dragged the price of oil below $107 a barrel Wednesday as traders awaited the latest figures on U.S. crude and gasoline supplies.
Benchmark crude for September delivery was down 33 cents at $106.90 a barrel at early afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 29 cents to settle Tuesday at $107.23.
A HSBC survey released Wednesday showed China's manufacturing at an 11-month low this month, a disappointing performance that puts pressure on Chinese leaders to reverse a deepening slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
The U.S. government's weekly report on America's inventories of crude due later Wednesday is expected to show another drop in supplies. Falling supplies have helped propel the price of oil to a 16-month high this month, boosting gasoline prices as well.
A survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., shows analysts expect a decline in crude oil inventories of 2.6 million barrels for the week ended July 19. That would bring the four-week drop to nearly 30 million barrels.
Brent crude, traded on the ICE Futures exchange in London, fell 17 cents to $108.25 a barrel.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline added 1.3 cents to $3.042 a gallon.
— Heating oil was steady at $3.072 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 0.6 cent to $3.737 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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