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Oil prices dip on mixed economic data

Oil prices on Monday finished lower on mixed economic data and signs of higher crude output from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

NEW YORK: Oil prices on Monday finished lower on mixed economic data and signs of higher crude output from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery declined 24 cents to $102.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

European benchmark Brent oil for delivery in July shed 58 cents to $108.83 in London on the Intercontinental Exchange.

Weak data from the eurozone weighed on sentiment. A composite index of manufacturing activity for the eurozone fell to a six-month low of 52.2, according to Markit Economics.

The disappointing eurozone report showed "no particular sign of broader economic acceleration that would signal stronger than expected petroleum demand," said a note from Citi Futures analyst Tim Evans.

But the poor eurozone report was offset somewhat by evidence of solid activity in China, the world's second-biggest oil consumer after the US.

China's official purchasing managers index (PMI) of manufacturing activity reached 50.8 in May, a five-month high, up from 50.4 in March.

"It looks like the Chinese economy is hanging in there," said John Kilduff at hedge fund Again Capital.

Kilduff said estimates of May OPEC output released late last week showed production higher than expected, near or above the 30 million barrel a day level, despite output disruptions in Libya and Nigeria.

At that level it could keep a damper on prices, he said.

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