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Brent drops below $103

Monday, September 01 09:59:21

Brent crude dropped below $103 a barrel on Monday, as a recent rebound in oil prices was checked by fresh data suggesting a slower growth in China's factory activity.

Oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic registered a second straight month of losses in August, although prices gained around $1 a barrel towards the end of the month.

Brent crude was 23 cents lower at $102.96 a barrel by 0656 GMT. The contract gained 73 cents on Friday. U.S. crude traded 30 cents lower at $95.66 a barrel, after settling up $1.41.

Floor trading in the United States is closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

Geopolitical tensions continued to support oil prices, with Iraqi army and Kurdish forces closing in on Islamic State fighters on Saturday in a push to break the Sunni militants' siege of a town in northern Iraq, while the United States carried out air strikes there.

Exports from Iraq's southern oil port have remained unaffected by the fighting. Russia's Gazprom Neft and Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) said Monday they had started commercial production at the joint Iraqi Badra oilfield with initial output at 15,000 barrels per day. (Reuters)

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