BANGKOK – The price of oil fell to near $93 on Wednesday after data showed a slowdown in China's manufacturing growth.
Benchmark oil for June delivery was down 45 cents to $93.01 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.04 to finish at $93.46 per barrel on Tuesday in anticipation of another increase in U.S. crude supplies.
The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, an industry group, released data Wednesday showing that manufacturing grew at a slower pace in April and that export orders had been declining steadily. The federation's purchasing managers' index fell to 50.6 in April from 50.9 in March. On a 100-point scale, numbers above 50 indicate an expansion.
The pace stoked fears that the recovery in the world's second-largest economy might not meet expectations.
Investors, meanwhile, are also waiting for information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products. Analysts surveyed by Platts estimate that oil supplies rose by 1.4 million barrels in the week ended Friday. The report from the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration will be released later Wednesday.
Brent crude, which is used to set prices of oil from the North Sea used by many U.S. refiners, fell 89 cents to $101.48 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 2.4 cents to $2.778 a gallon.
— Heating oil retreated 2 cents to $2.82 a gallon.
— Natural gas rose 2.1 cents to $4.364 per 1,000 cubic feet.