Oil declined as manufacturing shrank in China and the euro-area, bolstering concern that fuel consumption will diminish.

Futures fell as much as 2 percent after China’s economy contracted for a sixth month in April, according to a preliminary reading of a purchasing managers’ index. Oil demand in the world’s second-biggest crude-consuming country dropped to the lowest level since October. Euro-area services and manufacturing output slipped.

“The Chinese manufacturing numbers are a bit disappointing as is the European data,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at futures brokerage PFGBest in Chicago. “The apparent slowdown in manufacturing in these important markets is raising demand concern.”  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-23/oil-decreases-after-manufacturing-shrinks-in-china-euro.html

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