Crude oil futures traded lower on Thursday morning as data on business activities in some of the major economies were below market expectations, leading to concerns over the demand for fuel in those economies.

At 9.52 am on Thursday, October Brent oil futures were at $82.98, down by 0.28 per cent, and October crude oil futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) were at $78.62, down by 0.34 per cent.

September crude oil futures were trading at ₹6,496 on Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) during initial trading, against the previous close of ₹6,555, down by 0.90 per cent, and October futures were trading at ₹6,492 against the previous close of ₹6,549, down by 0.87 per cent.

Key indices lag

The US S&P Global Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) showed that business activities in the US stagnated during August. PMI data was recorded at 50.4 in August as against 52 in July.

Apart from this, S&P Global Composite PMI for Eurozone was at 47 in August against 48.6 in July. Britain’s S&P Global Composite PMI declined to 47.9 in August from 50.8 in July.

Meanwhile, the petroleum status report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a decline in the crude oil inventories in that country for the week ending August 18. US commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the strategic petroleum reserve) decreased by 6.1 million barrels from the previous week. At 433.5 million barrels, US crude oil inventories were about 2 per cent below the five-year average for this time of year.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.9 million barrels a day, up by 4.5 per cent from the same period last year.

US crude oil imports averaged 6.9 million barrels a day last week, a decrease of around 225,000 barrels a day from the previous week.

Precious metals down

On the supply front, the oil minister of Iran said crude oil output of his country will reach 3.4 million barrels a day by the end of September despite US sanctions.

September natural gas futures were trading at ₹213.80 on MCX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹215.80, down by 0.93 per cent.

Gold October futures dropped by ₹14 to ₹58,850 per 10 gm, while silver September futures slid ₹155 to ₹73,849 a kg. Mentha oil October futures were up a tad at ₹1,012 a kg.