Brent oil was pressured on Thursday by lackluster Chinese economic data and expectations for a rebound in Libyan oil exports while U.S. crude also fell in the wake of the previous day's news that stockpiles reached multi-decade highs.
China's Purchasing Managers' Index rose marginally in April but export orders fell, which reinforced concerns that economic growth may continue to slow in the world's second-largest oil consumer. Libya's Zueitina oil port was said to have begun loading its first tanker of crude Thursday after being closed for nearly 10 months, further pressuring Brent.
Protests and strikes continue to shutter two other refineries. Analysts do not expect a rapid recovery after previous agreements for Libyan ports to reopen and supplies to resume have failed to be implemented.