Growing signs of weakness in the U.S. economy are helping keep oil prices under pressure even as tensions escalate across North Africa and the Middle East.
U.S. manufacturers reported business activity contracted for the second month running in December, according to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM).
It is still not clear whether the current weakening in U.S. manufacturing is a temporary pause that will be quickly reversed or heralds a lengthier slowdown. But slowing growth in the U.S. industrial economy matters because the United States was one of the bright spots for oil demand in 2015.
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