Oil prices faced a slight decline in Asian trade on Thursday, influenced by a series of weak Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) readings that raised concerns about sluggish economic growth.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. crude output approached pre-COVID levels last week, while exports witnessed a rise.

U.S. crude output reached approximately 12.8 million barrels per day (mb) in the week ending August 18. Inching closer to the record 13.1 mb seen before the COVID outbreak.

Amid these shifts, concerns persisted about slowing crude demand in China due to a decelerating post-COVID economic recovery.

The Chinese government’s cautious approach to stimulus measures raised investor impatience.