Crude oil futures tumbled by nearly $2 on Tuesday, with U.S. crude pressured by expectations for a build in domestic stocks, and Brent by lackluster manufacturing data in China and Europe.
U.S. commercial crude stocks have risen for 10 straight weeks and likely rose again last week, with a rebound in imports expected as a major oil tanker shipping channel to the Gulf Coast reopened.
Chinese government data showed that factory sector activity edged up in March, but economists said it was not enough to offset evidence of a sharper-than-expected slowdown in the first quarter in the world's No. 2 oil consumer. Growth in euro zone factories also cooled, a business survey showed on Tuesday, and firms have returned to cutting prices in order to drum up business.