A Saudi Arabian oil refinery at dusk. Photo: iStock

The rise in North American oil rig counts does not justify drop we’ve seen in WTI crude prices, writes Jason Schenker writes at Bloomberg:

“So while the supply side of the crude oil market has been mixed, the demand side has fundamentally weakened the past two months. And the most important proxy for global oil demand growth — and for global growth — is the Chinese Caixin manufacturing PMI. This purchasing manager index is a survey of private small and medium-sized manufacturing companies, and it is a leading indicator of growth in the world’s second-largest economy. The private compilation of the Chinese Caixin manufacturing PMI data, as well as the smaller size of the companies responding to the surveys, makes this the only piece of Chinese data that I consider to be of value because it is less likely to be influenced directly by the Chinese government or indirectly by government policy.”