Crude oil points flat to weaker ahead of Asian open

Singapore's Boat Quay in 1968; photo taken by Leonard Shaffer.

Crude oil prices pointed flat to weaker ahead of the Friday Asian open with U.S. rig count data expected to set the tone.

ICE Brent crude was quoted up 0.49 percent at US$77.52 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was flat at US$70.25 a barrel. Brent crude oil futures settled up 0.82 percent at US$77.77 a barrel.

China reports official PMI manufacturing data, with a reading of 51 forecast for August, a slip from 51.2 in July. Non-manufacturing PMI for August is seen at 53.8, down from 54.0 in July.

The private Caixin PMI survey is due to be released on September 1 with a reading of 50.6 seen for August, down from 50.8 in July.

In the U.S., the weekly Baker Hughes oil rig count is due, with the last reading at 860.

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