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Oil down in Asia on weak Chinese data

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Oil prices were mixed in Asia on Tuesday as weak Chinese manufacturing data raised concerns about energy demand in the world's second largest economy, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, dropped 46 cents to $93.69 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July delivery rose seven cents to $102.69 in mid-morning trade.

"Weak China manufacturing data showing the first contraction in seven months is weighing on oil prices," Lee Chen Hoay, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, told AFP.

"Dealers are holding their positions and waiting for more news later in the week," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

British banking giant HSBC said Thursday that manufacturing activity in China contracted in May for the first time in seven months.

HSBC's preliminary purchasing managers' index fell to 49.6 in May from a final 50.4 in April, the lowest figure since last October.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while anything above signals expansion.

The index tracks manufacturing activity and is a closely watched barometer of the health of the economy. The final result for May will be released on June 3.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130528/oil-down-asia-weak-chinese-data