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Oil prices drop amid concerns over global slowdown - Xinhua |

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NEW YORK, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices pulled back on Friday, as dismal manufacturing data of the United States and Germany gave rise to further concerns over a slowdown in both global demand and economy.

The flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slid to 52.5, down from 53.0 in February, marking a new low over the past 21 months, according to a report released Friday by global information provider IHS Markit.

"Softer business activity growth reflected more subdued demand conditions in March, with new work rising at the weakest pace since April 2017," said the report.

Likewise, the PMI for Germany's manufacturing sector fell to 44.7 points from 47.6 points in March, the steepest decline since August 2012, according to the preliminary PMI index published on Friday.

The results are based on the monthly survey of around 500 purchasing managers and managing directors of the German manufacturing industry, provided by the German Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics.

The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery fell 0.94 U.S. dollar to settle at 59.04 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery decreased 0.83 dollar to close at 67.03 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

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