Asian Oil Prices in Mires Again
SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell in Asia on Monday, giving up some of last week’s sharp gains as concerns of a global supply glut weighed on prices ahead of fresh US stocks data.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in February was down 27 cents at $37.83 and Brent crude for February was trading 17 cents lower at $37.72 a barrel at around 0320 GMT.
Prices jumped last week after data showed an unexpected fall in US commercial crude stockpiles, with WTI adding almost 10 percent.
News the US will resume exports after a 40-year ban also helped to drive the country’s benchmark to a premium over London-traded Brent, which is seen as a measure of global prices.
“With no major economic news during the week, which will be a short trading week due to holidays, the markets will be looking closely for EIA’s weekly US crude oil inventory data,” said Sanjeev Gupta, head of the Asia Pacific oil and gas practice at EY.
Analysts predict the US Energy Information Administration will report another fall in US crude stockpiles on Wednesday, an indication of stronger demand in the world’s top oil consumer.
“Further evidence of continued draw-down in the US crude oil inventory could strengthen WTI in the near term and widen its spread over Brent,” Gupta said.
Oil prices have been under pressure since 2014 due to concerns about a persistent glut in world supplies and weak demand.
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