HOUSTON (ICIS)--NYMEX light sweet crude (WTI) for March delivery settled on Monday at $96.43/bbl, down $1.06, tracking another sell-off in the stock market in response to released data showing a slowdown in US factory activity.
Global equity markets also lost ground in response to a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing, adding to the downbeat mood regarding energy demand growth in emerging markets.
In the currency markets, the weak data pressured the US dollar, making dollar-denominated commodities cheaper and helping put a floor on the crude sell-off.
The easing of sanctions against Iran was reflected by reports that $550m frozen US dollars in overseas banks had been transferred in good faith as a result of the negotiations to achieve a nuclear deal. Eventually, this could put more oil into the market.
March WTI bottomed out at $96.26/bbl, down $1.23, before staging a slight rebound
ICE Brent for March delivery established an intra-day low of $105.40/bbl and settled at $106.04/bbl, down 36 cents.