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Oil Fluctuates as Equities Rise While Manufacturing Slows

West Texas Intermediate crude fluctuated as U.S. equities rose for a third day and data from China and Europe signaled a slowdown in global manufacturing.

Oil erased losses as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced after earnings from Travelers Cos. to Netflix Inc. (NFLX) beat analyst estimates and the government reported that U.S. new-home sales increased in March. Prices dropped as much as 1.6 percent earlier as China’s preliminary manufacturing data for April showed a slower expansion than in March and euro-area factory and services output shrank for a 15th month.

“We’ve got some disappointing manufacturing data out of both China and Europe and the market is under pressure,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The market is moving back and forth based on changing economic perceptions.”

The European Union and China combined used 27 percent of the world’s oil in 2011, according to BP Plc (BP/)’s Statistical Review of World Energy. The U.S. consumed 21 percent.

Bloomberg

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