Oil prices mixed amid upbeat manufacturing data
Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade Friday as upbeat manufacturing data from around the world fuelled hopes of firmer global demand, analysts said.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in October, was down 16 cents to $104.87 in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude for October added 20 cents to $110.10.
Investors were cheered by figures pointing to a pick-up in the global economy.
On Thursday a preliminary purchasing managers index (PMI) of manufacturing activity in the eurozone hit a 26-month high, while a reading in the United States also showed improvement. Earlier in the day HSBC said its PMI for China had also shown growth for the first time in four months.
"After a slew of bad data that plagued the (Chinese) economy over the last two months, the latest release came as a positive surprise as global emerging markets battle an ongoing threat of stimulus withdrawal in the US," Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said in a note.
Chua added that the eurozone data underscored "a nascent recovery" in the 17-nation bloc.
Data this month showed the eurozone economy grew 0.3 percent in the April-June quarter compared with the previous three months, breaking a record 18-month recession.
Dealers are also closely monitoring an oil supply problem in Libya, analysts said, after Libya's National Oil Company (NOC) on Thursday announced a resumption of exports from the Brega terminal in the east.
The move allows it to partially lift from Thursday a declaration of force majeure. But the Zueitina, Ras Lanuf, Al-Sedra terminals remain blockaded by striking security guards in a dispute over allegations of corruption in oil sales.