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Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: August 24 - 28

© Reuters. Oil prices fall to lowest level since March 2009 on global growth jitters - Crude oil futures tumbled to levels not seen since March 2009 on Friday, as gloomy manufacturing data from China added to concerns over slowing global growth and weak demand prospects.

Data on Friday showed that manufacturing activity in China contracted at the fastest rate in six-and-a-half years in August, exacerbating fears over a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

The preliminary reading of the Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at 47.1, down from July's final reading of 47.8. It was the lowest reading since March 2009.

China is the world's second largest oil consumer after the U.S. and has been the engine of strengthening demand. Manufacturing numbers are often used as indicators for fuel demand growth.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent for October delivery fell to a session low of $45.07 a barrel, the weakest level since March 2009, before closing at $45.46, down $1.16, or 2.49% for the day.

On the week, London-traded Brent...