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Crude Oil Prices Slide On Soft Economic Data

Oil prices tumbled on Friday as the latest Euro zone flash purchasing managers' index for August dented hopes of a V-shaped recovery from the bloc's deepest economic downturn on record.

Benchmark Brent crude dropped 56 cents or 1.25 percent to $44.28 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 46 cents or 1.08 percent at $42.27.

The euro area private sector grew at a slower pace in August following a rebound from the downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The composite output index fell unexpectedly to 51.6 in August, while the score was expected to remain unchanged at 54.9.

Elsewhere, activity in the U.K.'s private sector grew at its sharpest pace since 2013 in August and retail sales data beat expectations, alleviating some concerns over an extended economic slowdown.

India's crude oil imports fell in July to their lowest since March 2010 as fuel demand slowed amid renewed coronavirus-induced lockdowns and closures of refinery units for maintenance, government data showed on Thursday.

Geopolitical tensions also remain in focus after the Trump administration reportedly declined to acknowledge any plans to meet with China over the Phase 1 trade deal.

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